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Archive for Sunday, June 30, 2013

25 years ago: Record-breaking rainfall soaks county, floods Lone Star area

June 30, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 30, 1988:

  • After weeks of drought conditions in Kansas, Mother Nature finally let loose with an abundance of rain. Whether it was the official Kansas University Weather Service recording of 1.92 inches (later changed to 2.48), or the amounts over 12 inches reported by area observers, it was the most rainfall some residents could recall seeing all at one time. Walter Schwarz, 81, of Worden, who had been an official weather observer for nearly 56 years, admitted this morning, "I never did have that much rain in all my life." Doubting his rain-gauge reading of 12.21 inches, he had double-checked his 10-inch buckets, which proved to be overflowing with rainwater. The deluge, more than welcome in the bone-dry area, had caused Washington Creek to overflow its banks, flooding about 15 homes in the small town of Lone Star and causing residents to evacuate.
  • Another outcome of the unexpected rain was a return to plans for a booming Fourth of July. Douglas County and Lawrence officials today lifted this week's fireworks ban, which had been imposed due to the tinderbox conditions of local vegetation. Conditions were back to normal now, officials said, and fireworks sales were reinstated in the unincorporated parts of the county.
  • According to officials, Lawrence wasn't likely to be affected by a plant malfunction and resulting spill in Topeka that had dumped 10 to 15 million gallons of raw sewage into the Kansas River. Roger Coffee, city utilities director, said that no problems were anticipated. "The water in the river before the rain was enough to insure dilution so that we wouldn't have any negative impacts," said Coffee, "but the rain only magnifies that."

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