Wichita police remind drivers to be safe during storms
Update, 6 p.m.:
National Weather Service meteorologists report that 0.81 inches of rain have been measured at Eisenhower National Airport as of 6 p.m., though other areas of the city have received 1-2 inches. Storms are expected to continue through the evening, though it is unclear how much more rainfall is expected in the city.
The June 18 maximum daily precipitation record for the city, measured at the airport, has stood for 117 years since 1.77 inches fell in 1902.
Update, 5:30 p.m.:
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for portions of Sedgwick and Butler counties. Radar indicates heavy rain will continue as 3 inches of rain have already fallen in some areas, and the weather service said that parts of east Wichita and Andover are already experiencing flash flooding.
Sedgwick County dispatchers have reported multiple submersions of vehicles stalled out in floodwater. The county’s emergency manager reported that firefighters closed a portion of Kellogg due to flooding as 3-4 feet of water cover the westbound lanes of the highway near the Woodlawn exit.
In Butler County, emergency management reported that a semi was blown over on U.S. 54 about 2 miles east of Augusta as winds gusted 70 mph.
Update, 4:45 p.m.:
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Sedgwick County.
The warning states that 2 inches of rain had already fallen as of about 4:36 p.m., and radar indicated thunderstorms would continue producing heavy rain and flooding.
“Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage areas and low lying spots,” the weather service said.
The storms in the Wichita area may produce tornadoes, hail the size of tennis balls and wind gusts of 60-75 mph, NWS Wichita said in a tweet.
Westar Engergy reports 15 power outages in the immediate Wichita area affecting about 222 customers.
Update, 3:45 p.m.:
The Wichita branch of the National Weather Service has issued a significant weather advisory for northeastern Sedgwick County. The advisory, issued at 3:28 p.m., states a strong thunderstorm was over west Wichita near Maize and moving east at 15 mph.
“People and animals outdoors will be injured,” the weather service said. “Expect hail damage to roofs, siding, windows, and vehicles. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees.”
Wichita police Officer Paul Cruz reminded drivers to turn on headlights and windshield wipers during storms.
“And if we get any areas where we have a lot of flood, please turn around, don’t drown,” Cruz said in a Facebook live video.
Update, 3 p.m.:
The National Weather Service office in Dodge City has received reports of a tornado in Edwards County.
The reports came from a storm chaser and a trained spotter, who both reported a tornado on the ground at around 2:40 p.m. about 10 miles northwest of Kinsley.
Original story, 2:30 p.m.:
Weather forecasters predict large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding and tornadoes are possible in south-central Kansas Tuesday afternoon and night.
“At this time, the greatest risk of severe weather looks to be focused along and south of a line from Hutchinson to Cassoday,” the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service said in a hazardous weather outlook. “Across that area, large hail up to hen egg size, damaging winds of 60 to 75 mph, and a few tornadoes will be possible.”
North of that line, wind gusts of up to 60 mph and hail up to the size of a half dollar are possible. Flash flooding from thunderstorms will also a concern across the area, weather service meteorologists said.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for several Kansas counties through 10 p.m.
In Wichita, the weather service forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and an 80 percent chance for rain Tuesday night. Some of the storms could be severe.
Photos and videos of storms and damage can be submitted to The Eagle online at www.kansas.com/customer-service/submit-photo/.