Rain fatigue in Cowley County

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Heavy rains in Cowley County on June 6th caused flash flooding at Strother Field between Winfield and Ark City, as captured by KSOK Radio's Brett Coplen. Heavy rains in Cowley County on June 6th caused flash flooding at Strother Field between Winfield and Ark City, as captured by KSOK Radio's Brett Coplen.
Flash flooding June 6th once again endangered Alan Brooks' garden along Bliss Rd in Winfield.  He just re-seeded a large portion of the garden the day before. Flash flooding June 6th once again endangered Alan Brooks' garden along Bliss Rd in Winfield. He just re-seeded a large portion of the garden the day before.
Brooks has had to pump water out of his well to prevent it from making flooding worse for more than three weeks now. Brooks has had to pump water out of his well to prevent it from making flooding worse for more than three weeks now.
WINFIELD, Kan. (KAKE) -

“I think the biggest thing is everybody’s just tired and drained,” said Taggart Wall, Winfield City Manager, as he looked out the window at more rain coming down.

Heavy rains and flash flooding returned to Cowley County Thursday, burying Strother Field and other low areas in as much as two feet of water.  The flash floods caused more headaches in an area that was just beginning to dry out.

The county spent most of the day under a flash flood warning.  Neighborhoods in the path of flash floods are used to them.  But even there, enough is enough.

“These are the three hottest peppers in the world over here,” said Alan Brooks.

He points out three small pepper plants in the small greenhouse attached to his garage.  It’s where he starts many of the plants for his garden.  They don’t usually stay there very long, but after a month of pumping water out of the garden, he’s tired of losing plants to floodwaters.

“The squash on the other side.  I’ve still got 5000 okra and 5000 cucumbers to put back in.  It ruined all them,” he said.  “It’s trying to kill my tomatoes.”

The well he generally uses to water his plants, now needs to be pumped out to prevent worse flooding.

“It’s 24, 25 days,” Brooks says about how long the pump has been running.  “And it don’t stop.”  He looks down into the well.  “But now it’s coming back up in the well faster than it’s pumping out.”

Brooks isn’t alone.  All over town all anyone is talking about is the rain and how much they wish it would just go away.

“If they had water in the basement or whatever issue somebody’s dealing with, whether it’s just standing water in the yard, everybody is just kind of over the rain,” Wall said.

At city hall they’re tired, too.  They’re tired of watching the forecast for rain and river levels, tired of putting up barricades and warning drivers of floodwater.

“From our standpoint it’s a lot of hurry up and respond. Particularly on rain,” Wall said.

Some are so tired, they’re about ready to just give up and let the rain win this year.

“Tiring. But yeah, I’m not going to do it again. I’m going to do it just one more time. Then I won’t do it again,” Brooks says about re-planting his garden for a third time.  “I’ve got too many other things to do.”

Meanwhile, many in Cowley County are also worried about what the ripple effect will be in town and on the county’s economy in general as agricultural losses lead to people not spending money at local businesses.  That’s an effect we may not know about for a few months yet.