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Heavy rain brings smiles in region

7/26/2013

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Now that was a good old-fashioned rain storm. It just didn't cover a wide enough area.

Heavy rain fell in parts of northwest Kansas on Thursday evening, with perhaps the heaviest rainfall reports coming from Russell County.

There, more than 3 inches was reported to the southwest of Russell, and slightly less than 3 inches reported to the north.

At the water softening plant on Vine in Hays, 2.07 inches of rain fell.

There were multiple 2-inch reports across the county.

That was enough for the National Weather Service in Dodge City to issue a flash flood warning for northwest Ellis and northeast Trego counties.

Russell County had heavier rains as well, but saw only temporary problems.

In northern Russell County, Emergency Management Director Keith Haberer said he received 1.56 inches of rain, but there were reports of as much as 3.5 inches in places.

The rain caused only "localized street flooding," he said.

"We only had a few streets in Russell that were temporarily blockaded," Haberer said.

Emergency managers in Trego and Ellis counties said it appears flood warnings were issued out of an abundance of caution.

Kathleen Fabrizius, Trego County's emergency management director, wasn't able to report heavy rain in her part of the county, but there were reports of nearly 2 inches in the northeast part of the county, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, an online rainfall reporting system.

Ellis County's rainfall varied wildly, with 0.5 to 1.5 inches in the northwest part of the county, more than 2 inches at several locations in the Hays area and 1.5 to 2 inches in the southern part of the county.

Ellis County Emergency Management Director Bill Ring was driving home when the rain was at its heaviest.

"It was raining so hard I couldn't see," he said.

He's received reports of as much as 3 inches of rain.

"One of the deputies in Russell said he had 3.20," Ring said. "It was nice."

Despite the flood warning, which didn't include Hays, there were few problems reported.

"A lot of happy people on Facebook because of the rain," he said this morning.

"It was a good general, fairly widespread rain," Haberer said.

Farther northwest, the city of Colby reported only 0.19 of an inch.