BAXTER SPRINGS - This past weekend's torrential onslaught may have been just the beginning. Baxter Springs and surrounding areas have seen significant flooding since Saturday, but according to the National Weather Service's Springfield Office, another round of moderate to heavy rainfall is expected across the entire region through Wednesday night.
Due to already high water levels and anticipated precipitation, a new Flash Flood Watch has been posted for Cherokee County and the surrounding region. Moderate to heavy rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will develop and move into the area through Wednesday. One to three inches of rainfall with isolated higher amounts are expected. Very saturated grounds along with additional rainfall will likely cause new flooding problems on area streams, rivers, and low water crossings. Residents are urged to avoid flooded areas and not attempt to drive or wade through moving water. Even 18 inches of water is sufficient to float a car or knock a person off their feet and sweep them away.
The storm responsible for the immense rainfull is playing out very differently out west. Kansans in the western third of the state are just beginning to dig out from under heavy snow. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will work with counties to determine the extent of damage to public infrastructure and utilities. KDEM plans to scale back 24-hour operations this evening at 7 p.m. and return to its regular schedule on Tuesday. A reduced staff will remain in the State Emergency Operations Center overnight to receive calls from counties.
As many as an estimated 42,000 customers lost power in Western Kansas due to heavy snow and high winds Saturday night through Sunday. Power crews are beginning to restore power, but are hampered by deep snow and blocked roads.
No additional snow is in the near forecast for Western Kansas with warmer temperatures starting to melt the snow.