Kan. governor declares state of disaster emergency for 5 counties affected by flooding

KINGMAN COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Update Tuesday, Sept. 4

(Kingman County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer Tuesday issued a state of disaster declaration for five counties affected by flooding over the holiday weekend.

The declaration was for Jewell, Kingman, Marshall, Pratt and Riley Counties.

"Damage in these counties included washed-out roads, bridges culverts and flooding to to some businesses and residential properties," the governor's office says.

The governor's office says as as damage assessments are conducted, additional counties could be added in the state declaration.

The state of disaster emergency declaration "authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria,' the governor's office says.

"Here in Kansas we make it a priority to take care of our neighbors," Colyer says. "Those impacted by the recent flooding have our full support and we will continue to do whatever is needed to help during this time of emergency."

Riley County

Two Red Cross shelters are open in Manhattan after flood waters forced hundreds from their homes Monday.

A brief break from the rain Tuesday gave people the chance to assess the damage, but on-and-off rain in town made the cleanup process even more difficult.

Most area roads reopened, but a few roadblocks are still up near Wildcat Creek.

Organizations like Great Plains United Methodist Disaster Relief are doing what they can to help flood victims like Hannah and Ethan McNeill, wondering if they'll ever be able to return home.

In the Riley County town of Keats, the McNeills woke up Monday morning to water pouring into their home.

"It sounds a little dramatic, but at the time, it was like, maybe there's a real chance of drowning in this house or something,'" Ethan says.

Eventually, the couple was rescued by raft. Now, they're trying to dry out what they can.

"We got so much of it sucked up,, but it just seems like the potential for mold and damage is just so great," Ethan says.

The American Red Cross says it could use financial help to assist with the flood relief, but does not need any material items at this time.

Meanwhile, the City of Manhattan is using its Twitter account to keep people informed. The city says they're keeping a close eye on conditions as parts of the city are expecting more rain.

The City of Manhattan encourages people to register through the city for emergency alerts.

Riley County police say schools return to normal tomorrow (Wednesday). The Manhattan school district is also sending a bus to both shelter locations in town to pick up any students spending the night there.

Kingman County

As flood waters recede in Kingman County, the damage done by Labor Day rains are evident.

The sheriff's office posted photos to its Facebook page showing what's been left behind.

One photo shows barricades blocking a bridge on NW 190th Ave and NW 20th St. The bridge is covered in water and a portion of the blacktop has fallen into the ground.

Another photo shows a road closure on E. First Street in Cunningham and NW 140th Ave. The road isn't even visible in the area.

One co-op reported receiving 2.42 inches of rain in the area.

Pratt County

Monday's rain left several parks in Pratt swamped, at one point with more than six inches of water.

In Lemon Park, fences are down and the baseball field is covered with water. Superintendent of Pratt Parks, Mark Eckhoff says the last time he saw the park this flooded was in 1991.

"This is the biggest one where we've had a lot of damage," Eckhoff says.

The Pratt County Sheriff's Office hasn't reported any injuries from the flooding, but Eckhoff warns just one inch of rain Tuesday night may cause more flooding.

Lemon Park remains closed until the water recedes.

Some people in Kingman County worry about flooding as some houses had to be evacuated Tuesday.

"It's crazy to look over there and see our neighbor's house in water like that and just seeing there's just tires coming down the road from the water," said Valerie Robinson.

She hasn't had to evacuate her house, but she is worried more rain will force her family to leave.

In her neighborhood, water comes all the way up to pools and mailboxes.

The Kingman County Sheriff's Office said you can call it if you need help evacuating or getting your pets out of your home.