Weather Conditions Leave State Inundated with Water, Storm Damage
The March Bomb Cyclone inundated areas of the upper Midwest with snow and ice which eventually melted and caused flooding damaging everything in its wake. The two months that followed included runoff into Kansas rivers and reservoirs, raising over half of Kansas lakes to historical levels. Kansas storms have resulted in rainfall well in excess of double average levels in most areas of Kansas, taking creeks and rivers out of their banks, flooding fields, farms and neighborhoods from border to border.
Tornado season has kicked off in Kansas and across the country. Over 500 tornadoes have been reported for the Month of May alone. May is historically the most active of months when it comes to tornadoes. All corners of the state have been affected with at least a few tornadoes touching down and causing damage.
Persistent rain, large hail, tornadoes, and devastating winds have left a widespread path of damage, with floodwaters expected to linger as the Army Corps of Engineers works to reduce flood pool elevations in the Kansas reservoirs.
President Donald Trump has granted a request from Governor Laura Kelly for an emergency federal disaster declaration for 18 Kansas counties affected by severe weather, heavy rains and flooding that currently is impacting the state.
The president’s assistance is for the counties of Anderson, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Elk, Franklin, Greenwood, Harvey, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Reno, Sumner, Wilson, and Woodson. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further evaluation.
An emergency declaration supplements state and local government efforts for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe through direct federal assistance for emergency protective measures.
Listed in the request submitted by Kelly were 46 Kansas counties: Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Jefferson, Kingman, Lincoln, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Wilson, and Woodson.
Weather patterns for Kansas are expected to continue with a wet trajectory, receiving excessive amounts of rain and severe storms into early July. Areas in lowlands near reservoirs are expected to remain flooded well into late June and early July, with some especially low areas inaccessible through the conclusion of the summer.