Power shut of in part of Kansas town amid flooding

Posted: Updated:
NEW CAMBRIA, Kan. (SJ) -

City and County officials continue to monitor flooding near New Cambria as they await additional rainfall. Floodwaters have reached the southwest portion of New Cambria.

Saline County Emergency Management officials ordered power shut off in the southwest corner of New Cambria. Power remains available elsewhere in the town. Roads into the town have flooded.

Saline County Emergency Management officials recommend people who live in the southwest corner of New Cambria evacuate. A shelter is open at the First Covenant Church located at 2625 E. Magnolia in Salina for those displaced. Residents with pets can take them to a shelter at the Saline County Expo Center at 900 Greeley Ave.

The National Weather Service anticipates the Smoky Hill River near New Cambria will crest at 31 feet by Thursday afternoon, just below its record height of 31.7 feet. Additional severe weather and rainfall has the potential to change river projections and increase the amount of flooding depending on the amount of rain received.

Early Wednesday afternoon, New Cambria resident Chuck Rhodes said he will evacuate with his two dogs if local officials request a voluntary evacuation. He said a wheat field near his house now looks like a lake.

“Starting tomorrow, it’s supposed to start up again and go all the way through the weekend,” he said. “The river is already up, and the ground is so saturated it can’t hold any. If we get the rain they are calling for, there is a pretty good chance it’s going to flood.”

Rhodes said a truck on Cunningham Road was ruined when flood waters rose two weeks ago.

“Somebody down there was looking at the river, and it snuck up on them too fast,” he said. “Before they knew it, it was already almost up to the floor board on the truck.”

Rhodes said he checked with neighbors before he bought his home in 2010, who told him his house had never been flooded. He didn’t see any calcium lines in the basement, and FEMA reports don’t indicate his home has ever been flooded. Rhodes hopes his luck continues this year.

“Pray that we don’t get the rain,” he requested.

Melisa Arnold, another New Cambria resident, saw flood waters encroach on part of her property early Wednesday afternoon. Melisa and her husband, Ed Arnold, plan to evacuate if their power company shuts off power to New Cambria, or if their house begins to flood and their sump pump can’t keep pace with the rising waters.

Ed Arnold recently caught a fish in the flood waters near their garage.

There is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms Thursday night, and a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Wichita. A flood warning is in effect for New Cambria through 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Salina

Salina officials have closed the following roads:

• Marymount, from North Street to Old 40
• West Diamond Drive, from North Ninth Street to Tressin Road
• Gold Street, from North Ninth Street to North Fifth Street
• Stimmel Road, from North Ninth Street to North Ohio Street
• North Fifth Street, from Euclid Avenue to Stimmel Road


Closed roads will reopen when floodwaters recede and road conditions improve.

Mulberry Creek, near Salina, has crested at 25.5 feet and water levels are now falling. Moderate flooding has occurred in the area located on the northern end of Salina.

Sandbags are still available at Ag Hall at the Saline County Expo Center. Volunteers will be present from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to assist residents with filling the bags or distributing them. If severe weather is in the area, sandbag operations will be postponed to protect the safety of volunteers.

Residents needing assistance with evacuation or anyone wishing to help fill sandbags in Salina may contact Saline County Emergency Management at 826-6511. For the latest information on the Saline County Flood, visit salina-ks.gov/salinecountyflood and facebook.com/SalinaJournal.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE