Severe Weather / Flood Event on June 4th, 2002
During the morning hours of June 4th 2002, a slow moving cold front was lined up across Northeast Kansas. This front became the focal point for thunderstorm development as it pushed southeast across the area. The main batch of precipitation was was working through central Kansas during the early morning hours. Thunderstorms fired out ahead of the main area shortly before 10 am and tracked northeast, generally from northeast Lyon County through northern Jefferson County.
Topeka's Billard Airport, in the center of the heavy rain band, received 3.06 inches for the entire event, with 2.66 inches falling between 9 and 11 am. The rainfall amounts varied greatly across the city, anywhere from3 to 4 inches fell in the southeast part of the city, to as little as a half inch in western sections. The 3.06" at Billard Airport was the most ever recorded on June 4th. This intense rainfall that stretched into portions of Jefferson County created a significant flash flooding event, especially in Topeka, where many low lying roadswere underwater. Numerous reports of cars being abandoned and intersections being flooded were received.In addition to the heavy rainfall, strong straight-line winds affected an isolated area of southwest Topeka. These winds brought down large trees and limbs, some of which caused power outages as they fell across power lines.
Scenes from June 4th