Heavy rainfall during Sunday 4th August brought flooding to various parts of central Kansas including Reno County, which declared a local disaster late on Sunday afternoon. A number of people there had to be evacuated from homes and buildings, including a nursing home.
The authorities in Reno put out a warning fopr people not to touch or play in the flood waters, which were likely to be contaminated with backed up sewage. There could also be run-off from fields that have had chemicals applied to crops. Those chemicals are now likely to be in the rivers, creeks and flood waters.
There has also been flooding in Barton County, particularly in Ellinwood, which saw over 15 cm of rain overnight. Rice County has seen some flooding and emergency officials were urging some residents living near Cow Creek to evacuate. Wichita is also facing the possibility of floods after there was 8cm of rain over the weekend. Sedgwick County is also threatened.
There are flood warnings for the Arkansas River near Derby and Mulvane and the Little Arkansas River at Harvey County where it exceeded flood stage marks on Sunday evening, reaching 22.7 feet. The river is expected to rise further, to as much as 25 feet later today.
The 1993 Great Flood
Almost exactly 20 years ago Kansas faced the “great flood of 1993” where 25 cm of rain flooded Kansas City and further afield. Flood waters were said to have been as much as 2.5 metres high in places in the city. The floods seemed to last the whole summer long.
Since then work has been put into flood protection, including the dredging of rivers, constructing flood walls, building new levees and repairing and reinforcing the existing ones. Some businesses and houses have been moved away, out of the flood zones.
Sources: Kansas City Star