Lawrence and the surrounding area experienced a rare summer occurrence overnight a heavy thunderstorm that did little damage and left farmers happy.
The storm that rumbled into town after 10 p.m. Monday and stayed through the early morning today dumped 2.18 inches of rain in Lawrence, said Mark Mitchell, Kansas University weather forecaster. The most rainfall recorded in the area was 3.70 inches by Ray and Fern Long in Eudora.
Several area farmers said they were glad to see the rain, and none reported damage.
Cletus Grosdidier, who operates a dairy farm and grows alfalfa in rural Eudora, said his farm received about 2.5 inches of rain.
"It was a pretty beneficial rain for us," he said. "It's the first time I've seen a creek running in about a year."
Scott Schwartz, who is helping his father, Don, farm in rural Baldwin this summer, measured about 1.5 inches of rain.
"We fared real well," he said. "The rain is real welcome right now."
Although the moisture is beneficial for corn and soybeans, Schwartz said his family was somewhat concerned about their cattle because of the severe lightning that cracked through the sky during the storm.
HE SAID they hadn't come across any damage so far today.
Edna Elder, who farms with her husband, Jim, north of Lawrence in Leavenworth County, said about 3 inches of rain drenched their area. "We didn't see any crop damage," she said.
Storm-driven winds knocked out electrical power to 400 people from 1 a.m. to 3:50 a.m. in Lecompton and the surrounding rural area, said Steve Johnson, KPL Gas Service division manager. He reported five scattered power outages in Lawrence from the storm.
Lawrence firefighters were called at 2:36 a.m. today to investigate an arcing power line in some trees at 326 Locust. No damage was reported.
Area lakes apparently escaped the storm unscathed. Frank Funk, project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Perry Lake, said the storm brought the first significant rainfall of the season to the lake about 1.3 inches but didn't bring the usual storm-related damage.
The lake currently is rising at a rate of about one-tenth of a foot an hour as a result of a downpour in the Delaware River basin. The river, which empties into the lake, is only a few feet below flood stage, he said.
Vic Counts, project manager at Clinton Lake, said a review of the lake grounds also showed no damage.
"WE SEEM to be in very good shape here other than everything's good and wet," he said.
Clinton Lake reported the second largest rainfall amount in the area, 2.66 inches. Walter Schwarz, weather observer in Worden, measured 1.71 inches of rain in the south-central Douglas County community. Lecompton's official reading was 1.06 inches, said Leo Pollard. Oskaloosa received a similar amount, 1.02 inches, said David Perry.
For the month, Lawrence has recorded 3.86 inches of rain. The average rainfall for July is 4.45 inches. So far in 1992, Lawrence has received 19.67 inches of precipitation. The year-to-date average through the end of July is 22.29 inches.
Lawrence entered the month 2.03 inches behind its normal annual rainfall. The city was 1.98 inches ahead of its annual average at the end of April.
Rain wasn't in today's forecast, but it returns with a 30 percent chance on Wednesday.