An old-fashioned “gully gusher” has been pounding Southeast Kansas, and much of the rest of the nation since Thursday. According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Gene Hatch, as of about 7 a.m. Monday morning the area had received between three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half inches of rain — with more expected through today.
Hatch said Monday morning that flash flood warnings extended from just north of Tulsa, Okla. down into Arkansas, east to Kentucky and northeast into southern Illinois.
Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Jason Allison said at one point this morning, Cherokee County saw 1.8 inches of rain in under an hour.
“The secondary roads have a lot of flash flooding,” Allison said. “People who live on major creeks and rivers need to keep an eye on it.”
Allison said the creeks and rivers in the area generally take about 48 hours after the end of the storm to crest.
John Gagan, with NWS, said the Spring River is expected to crest at 18.7 feet, some four to five feet above flood stage.
Gagen said flooding will be wide spread in the creeks which drain into Spring River.
“Any creeks in the Spring River basin which are not flooding now will be (soon),” he said.
Hatch said there had been one fatality reported as a result of the storms. A man in Ozark County Missouri had tried to cross a flooded roadway when his vehicle stalled. Hatch said the man got out of the vehicle and was swept away and killed by the water.
“If you have to be out and come across a flooded roadway — don’t try it,” he said.
“When you come to water just use the old motto, ‘turn around, don’t drown,’” Allison said.
Hatch said there was a possibility of another inch to inch-and-a half of rain on Wednesday, but things should dry out a bit by the end of the week.
“The good news is Thursday and Friday should be dry,” he said, adding NWS is currently forecasting a slight chance for rain on Saturday and Sunday, but Hatch stressed it would likely be a much smaller system if it does rain.