Monday, July 02, 2007

Chanute Flood July 2, 2007

A friend sent us these pictures of the Chanute Flood ( where we live ). These were taken yesterday.

Extremely heavy rainfall from the end of June into early July caused flash flooding throughout Neosho County. The flash flooding and the ensuing river flooding resulted in roughly 100 homes being destroyed and another 50 sustaining major damage. This resulted in at least 10.5 million dollars in damages. An additional 1.5 million dollars in damage was reported public infrastructure. The Neosho River reached a record crest of 40.6 feet on the morning of July 2nd. This was 11.6 feet above flood stage. Major flooding was seen on the Neosho at Chanute when a crest of 36.82 feet was recorded on the morning of July 1st. The Neosho inundated the city of Chanute with some areas under as much as 7 to 8 feet of water. The river remained above flood stage at Chanute until July 4th and at Erie until July 5th.An upper level low pressure system and associated frontal boundary stalled across the area for several days, resulting in periods of numerous and widespread heavy showers and thunderstorms across portions of south-central and southeast Kansas from early on the 27th until July 1st. Phenomenal rainfall totals occurred during this period, ranging anywhere from 8 inches, to as much as 20 inches, heaviest across southeast Kansas. A few the most extreme and measured rainfall reports from June 28th - 30th were 18.29 inches at Fredonia, 12.47 inches at Independence, 11.70 inches at Iola, 9.18 inches at Chanute, 8.63 inches at Erie and 8.40 inches at Coffeyville. Excessive runoff produced widespread, catastrophic, record flooding across much of southeast Kansas, particularly in the vicinity of area rivers, streams and creeks. Hardest hit were the Verdigris and Fall Rivers, where record flooding was observed at Fall River, Independence and Coffeyville. The Neosho River was also hard hit with record flooding observed at Erie and major flooding observed at Chanute, Parsons and Oswego. Public, private and crop damage was extensive and at times severe. Hundreds to potentially a few thousand homes and businesses sustained severe flood damage, an incalculable number of roads were closed due to high water, and several bridges were either washed out or sustained damage. Thousands of acres of crops sustained severe damage. Thousands of miles of roads were damaged from the flood waters. Evacuations and water rescues were common, as several towns were for a time surrounded and/or engulfed by flood waters. Water became unsafe, as flood waters inundated water and sewage treatment plants. Thousands of residents were without power for an extended period of time. Several counties were declared federal disaster areas. Public and private damages likely exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars, but exact monetary values will be difficult to nearly impossible to determine. The flooding in Coffeyville enveloped the Coffeyville Resources Refinery. A malfunctioning pump lead to a 71,000 gallon crude oil spill into the Verdigris River, leaving an oily gunk on everything the oil touched, and contaminating the water for miles. One fatality occurred in Coffeyville, when a gentleman refused to evacuate his motel room, despite being warned twice by emergency officials of the impending flood.

No comments: