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Archive for Friday, March 5, 2004

Rain pelts areas of Kansas, Missouri

Neodesha issues call to conserve water

March 5, 2004

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Heavy rain fell Thursday across Kansas and Missouri, causing flooding and road closings throughout large parts of the two states.

Flooding caused a Westar Energy Inc. power pole to fall into the Verdigris River, causing the town of Neodesha in southeast Kansas to lose power.

Mayor J.D. Cox said the town could not pump water, and estimated it had about 12 to 14 hours worth of drinking water when the power went out around 6 p.m.

"Our major concern is our sewer situation," Cox said, because some sewers had started to back up.

He said residents were being asked to conserve on water and toilets.

Cox said officials in Wilson County were providing generators and emergency relief to the town of 2,800 people.

The rain started early Thursday morning; by evening, 3.96 inches had fallen at Coffeyville in southeast Kansas and 3.91 in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe.

More than two inches had fallen in downtown Kansas City, Mo., by about 6 p.m. Other parts of Missouri, including Jefferson City, Joplin and Sedalia, received more than 1 1/2 inches.

The National Weather Service had issued flood warnings in south central and eastern Kansas, including one for the Neosho River.

"It could be a minor to major flood stage," said meteorologist Leon Wasinger.

Flood warnings also were issued for several areas in west-central Missouri.

Several roads in Kansas were closed because of flooding, mainly county roads and back roads along creeks, said Matt Wolters, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka.

Roads and small creeks in Missouri also were flooded, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasts called for showers to end around midnight, with no precipitation for the weekend.

City officials in Kansas City activated its Emergency Operations Center, warning drivers about possible barricades on roads due to the rain and flooding.

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