By: Jim Caruso, Robb Lawson
Widespread showers with a few embedded thunderstorms brought heavy rains and flooding to much of south central Kansas and the Flint Hills Wednesday Afternoon and Night.
This was the third round of heavy rainfall and flooding to hit the area since late August of 2003. The showers and thunderstorms initially developed over south central Kansas during the day Wednesday, as copious amounts of moisture surged northward into the area. There were a couple of small swaths of heavy rainfall during the afternoon. However, Wednesday Night, a disturbance moved eastward out of Colorado and New Mexico. This set the stage for widespread showers and embedded thunderstorms, with the heaviest rain occurring over south central Kansas and portions of the Flint Hills. Image 1 shows the NWS Wichita doppler radar storm total precipitation estimate for this rain event. In general, the radar indicated widespread 1 to 3 inch amounts, with isolated higher amounts upwards of 5 inches. The heavy rainfall resulted in numerous reports of flash flooding, with several area rivers exceeding flood stage as well. Some of the higher measured rainfall amounts from area cooperative observers included: 5.09 inches at Inman, 4.72 inches at Augusta, 4.24 inches at El Dorado, 3.97 inches at 2 miles northeast of Hutchinson, and 3.92 inches at Potwin. The National Weather Service in Wichita measured 2.79 inches. Minor to moderate flooding occurred along portions of the the following rivers: the Cowskin Creek in West Wichita, the Ninnescah River, the Little Arkansas River, the Arkansas River, the Whitewater River, and the Walnut River. The following are images showing flooding from different locations along the Cowskin Creek: image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5.