UPDATE 7:38 p.m. Monday: Early this evening, the National Weather Service office in Wichita (NWSW) issued a flood warning for all of Saline County until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
According to the warning, at 5:30 p.m. CDT, emergency management reported thunderstorms with heavy rain over Saline County. The heavy rain will cause flooding. Up to one inch of rain has already fallen. Additionally, 2 to 3 inches of rain have falling in upstream locations which is now beginning to make its way into Saline County.
Some locations that will experience flooding include Salina, Assaria, Gypsum, Brookville, Smolan, New Cambria, Falun, Glendale, Bridgeport, Salina Airport, and Kipp, NWSW noted.
According to NWSW, additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible in the warned area. Emergency management has reported a number of flooded road ways in the western portions of Saline County. There are also some roadways just west of Salina that are now becoming flooded.
This includes the following highways, NWSW reported.
- Interstate 135 between Mile Markers 77 and 95.
- Interstate 70 between Mile Markers 236 and 266.
By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
City and county officials are preparing for flooding that is expected to hit throughout the area in the next couple of days.
Saline County Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh said late Monday afternoon that a number of low water crossings in rural parts of the county already are flooding, noting that water levels are three to six inches above the crossings. As those areas frequently flood, they are marked with permanent signage that tells the public to not enter when the crossings are flooded, Stambaugh said.
Stambaugh stressed that motorists should not attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
A number of fields in the county also are flooding.
Stambaugh said that at this point, the biggest flooding concerns for Saline County are Mulberry Creek, especially as it rises in north Salina, and the Smoky Hill River at New Cambria, in eastern Saline County. She said the cresting for both is expected sometime Tuesday, most likely in the afternoon. The levels of both are expected to drop quickly as rain upstream dissipates, she added.
Mulberry Creek was at 12.5 feet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Flood stage for Mulberry Creek is 24 feet, NWS noted. Major flooding is anticipated, NWS indicated.
According to NWS, the Smoky Hill River at New Cambria was at 11.3 feet at 4:45 p.m. Monday. Flood stage for the Smoky Hill River is 27 feet, NWS indicated. NWS has forecast moderate flooding in the New Cambria area.
Additionally, NWS is forecasting minor flooding along the Smoky Hill River at Mentor just south of Salina. At 4:45 p.m. the Smoky Hill River was 8.1 feet, NWS reported. Flood stage is 20 feet.
Earlier Monday, the City of Salina issued a statement concerning street closings that are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. Those closings include the following.
- North Ninth Street between Euclid Avenue and Interstate 70 (I-70)
- West State Street between Broadway Boulevard and K-140 (old US-40)
- K-140 (old US-40) from Broadway to Interstate 135
- West State Street and West North Street west of Old US-40
- West Cloud Street near Cherokee Street
The City of Salina will also close Old US-40 on the northeast side of Salina around noon on Tuesday.
Additionally, the city will monitor North Ohio Street between the levee and I-70. The information from the city indicated that North Ohio may also need to be closed if conditions worsen throughout the day.
The city is expecting to fill the sandbag gap at the levee on North Ninth Street in anticipation of the floodwaters from Mulberry Creek. Other sandbag gap locations will be monitored throughout the day. If other sandbag gap closures are necessary the city will coordinate with the local railroads the time of those closures.
The closed roads listed will reopen when the flood water recedes and the road conditions are suitable for use by the traveling public.