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Archive for Saturday, May 26, 2007

Some creeks, rivers still rising

May 26, 2007

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— Flooding was expected across most of central and part of south-central Kansas as some rivers and creeks continued to rise, authorities said Friday.

Floodwaters shut off all roads leading into the central Kansas town of New Cambria, Saline County emergency management officials said Friday afternoon. The rising waters of the Smoky Hill and Saline rivers also covered many of the streets in the small town east of Salina, they said.

Some roads leading into the small town of Halstead in Harvey County were closed after being flooded by the rising Little Arkansas River, county officials said. At least one flood gate on the river was closed at Halstead. However, no one had been hurt and no one had been evacuated, said Harvey County Emergency Management Director Lon Buller.

In Reno County, authorities advised residents in 20 to 30 homes along Cow Creek west of Hutchinson to be ready to evacuate if necessary. But Reno County Emergency Management Director Bill Guy was cautiously optimistic that evacuations would not become mandatory.

"A lot of those folks out there don't leave because water doesn't get to their homes," Guy said. "Right at the moment it doesn't look like we're going to" evacuate.

Runoff from Wednesday's downpour of up to 8 inches caused creeks to continue rising two days later. At least 60 homes and businesses in Reno County were flooded, and roads already damaged by heavy rain three weeks ago were torn up even more.

"This time it was extensive - big holes cut in roads and roads that have been washed out considerably," Guy said. At least 20 roads in Reno County were closed, and road closings were reported in several other central and south-central Kansas counties.

The weather service issued a flood warning for the Little Arkansas River at Alta Mills, Halstead and Sedgwick, and the Arkansas River at Hutchinson, Haven, Derby, Mulvane, Oxford and Arkansas City.

Cowley, Harvey, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties are affected by the warning.

In Saline County in central Kansas, Mulberry Creek overflowed early Thursday, submerging parts of Salina, forcing road closures and causing some county residents to be evacuated. The creek hit a record high of 17.81 feet Thursday before it started to fall at 5 p.m.

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