Evacuations underway in Marion, Saline counties following heavy rain

Posted: Updated:
Photo: KaitLynn Marie Smith (Gypsum) Photo: KaitLynn Marie Smith (Gypsum)
Photo: KaitLynn Marie Smith (Gypsum) Photo: KaitLynn Marie Smith (Gypsum)
SALINA, Kan. (SJ) -

A heavy thunderstorm that hit central Kansas early Thursday morning resulted in a wide variety of torrential rainfall totals ranging from barely a trace to up to 8 inches in Saline County.

Rainfall totals ranged from 4.7 to 8.5 inches, with the heaviest downpour occurring about 4 miles south-southeast of Gypsum, which had 8.5 inches recorded, flooding numerous roads and bridges in that area.

Water rescues have been taking place in the northeast portion of Gypsum, along the Gypsum Creek.   Evacuations are also underway for people living near the Cottonwood River in Durham.  

About 3.8 inches was reported in southeast Salina, but in the north part of the county only about .05 to 1.8 inches was recorded.

Flash flooding was so widespread in the area because of so much rain falling in so short a time that a statement was issued Thursday morning by Hannah Stambaugh, deputy county administrator of Saline County, who wrote:

“We experienced torrential rainfall with the storm overnight and have several flooded roadways. We do not have enough barricades to go around. If you could please assist us with getting the message out to remind citizens to not drive through flooded roads. Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

Rainfall totals in other counties varied, with Dickinson County reporting 4.4 inches of rain northwest of Carlton, Clay County reporting about 4.3 inches, Marion County about 5 inches north of Hillsboro and McPherson County reporting 2.4 inches north of Galva. No rainfall was reported in Ottawa County.

A flood warning was issued for the Smoky Hill River near Mentor through Friday morning. On Thursday, the river level was a 20.1 feet, and flood stage is 20 feet. Moderate flooding was forecast in the surrounding area.

According to the National Weather Service in Wichita, it will be partly sunny through the weekend, although there are further chances for showers and thunderstorms through Monday.

The Salina Journal contributed to this report.  

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