Central Kansas has gone from drought to flood in the wake of repeated days of heavy rain.
As of Wednesday night, flood warnings were out for eleven counties in the central part of the state and dozens of roads were closed for had been closed, including one stretch of the Kansas Turnpike in Chase County.
Most of the flooding was from small streams and creeks which covered rural roads and flooded farm fields, but there was also river flooding on the Little Arkansas, Cottonwood, Neosho, and Smoky Hill rivers in central and eastern Kansas.
Lindsborg hit hard
The most serious flood damage occurred in the town of Lindsborg where five inches of rain on Sunday sent the Smoky Hill River out of its banks and floodwaters filled 125 homes and caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage.
Thomas Holmquist, who farms near Smolan, is often a flood victim when the Smoky Hill rises rapidly. He said the floodwaters covered a bridge near his home and water rose to the edge of the front yard, but did not reach the house.
"My brother-in-law lives in Lindsborg and it filled his basement," Holmquist said. "Over the last two days, we have pumped 80,000 gallons of water out of the basement. We have filled four of those big 30-foot trash bins and they are working on the fifth. That's his house a couple of neighbors. It has just been awful."
Creek flooding near Lyons covered several farm fields and left a roadside picnic area under a foot and a half of water.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Cottonwood River was out of its banks and still rising near Emporia. It is forecast to crest about four feet above flood stage on Friday and fall below flood stage on Saturday afternoon.
The Cottonwood was also flooding areas near Plymouth and Cottonwood Falls.
The Little Arkansas River flooded at Sedgwick but was expected to fall back within its banks by Thursday morning.