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Heavy rain draws crowd to Big Creek

7/29/2013

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

When it finally decides to rain, it pours.

Another 2.77 inches of rain was recorded Sunday at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at the south end of town.

That's on top of the 2.37 inches recorded Friday morning. This morning, regional rainfall totals varied, but were generally less than a half-inch.

Combined, the big rains pushed Big Creek ever higher, sending a steady stream of residents to Frontier Park on Sunday to look at water streaming over the dam east of Main.

Stream levels quickly jumped from 4 feet to 14 feet early Sunday morning before starting to slip back down.

Hays didn't have the corner on the heavy rain market, although there were a steady stream of nearly 3-inch rainfall reports in Hays filed with CoCoRaHs -- the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.

The biggest rain report was 3.75 inches southeast of Ellis.

It all was enough to prompt the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for Ellis County.

There also was a report of 2.93 inches in southeast Graham County on Sunday morning and a report of 3.33 inches near Penokee west of Hill City.

It was the cool temperature Sunday in Hill City, however, that stole the show.

There, a high of 55 tied the previous high set in 1969.

Hays also had a low of 55, but it wasn't enough to break the old low of 52 set in 1994.

Goodland had a cool high of just 62 degrees, breaking the old record of 69 set in 1987.

And the outlook continues to show a chance for showers, at least through Tuesday.

Rainfall also was reported across northwest Kansas on Sunday, but the amounts were generally small.

In Sherman County, for example, totals stood at approximately a third of an inch or less Sunday morning. Except for a single quarter-inch report, Thomas County reports stood at a tenth of an inch. It was the same situation this morning.

In Rooks County, Sunday's rainfall varied from less than an inch near Damar to 1.69 inches in the Webster Reservoir area.

With Sunday morning's report, Hays now has received 15.02 inches, slightly less than half of that coming this month. That's about a half-inch ahead of normal for the year.

For comparison, Goodland's only had 7.84 inches of rain since Jan. 1, slightly more than 5 inches below normal. Last year, only 6.63 inches had fallen.

In Hill City, rainfall totals this year stand at 12.12 inches, nearly 2.5 inches below normal but twice last year's total of 5.55 inches at this time.