Friday, July 28, 2017


Massive flooding in Kansas City leads to water rescues and closed roads

By Robert A. Cronkleton, Tony Rizzo, Donna McGuire and Max Londberg

July 27, 2017 6:11 AM

Overnight storms dumped heavy rains across the Kansas City area, leading to serious flooding, several closed roads and water rescues early Thursday.

The Kansas City Fire Department responded to numerous water rescues early Thursday — from 43rd Street in midtown Kansas City south to 155th and Troost, including the Ward Parkway area, Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi said on Twitter.

At Coach’s Bar & Grill on 103rd Street, the owner and manager were trapped inside after floodwaters rose around them early Thursday. Firefighters later rescued them.

“It’s the most scared I’ve ever been,” Coach’s owner Brian Darby said.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., Chris Donna-Louise Carle and Brian Darby were rescued by firefighters, emerging through the roof of the business near 103rd Street and Wornall Road. They became trapped when water quickly rose and broke through a wall of their business. Firefighters rescued others early Thursday when people got caught in vehicles and buildings as flash flooding affected the region. Shane Keyser The Kansas City Star

Across Johnson, Cass and Jackson counties, a flood warning remains in effect until 1:45 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service advised avoiding floodwaters at all costs and move to higher ground if water approaches.

In Cass County Thursday afternoon, firefighters from the Dolan-West Dolan Fire Protection District were called out to Lake Annette for multiple water rescues. A fire department spokesman said firefighters were helping at least 20 people stuck in their homes affected by the flooding. No injuries were reported as a result. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was also called to the scene.

The water rescue at Lake Annette was one of “hundreds” of calls the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said it received for flooding Thursday. A sheriff’s office spokesman said the flooding resulted in several closed roads in rural Cass County, but as of Thursday afternoon, no injuries and no major property damage had been reported.

Shortly after 6 a.m., the Kansas City Fire Department responded to the area of 103rd Street and Wornall Road on reports of at least two vehicles in Indian Creek.

Kansas City firefighters rescued a woman trapped in her partially submerged car.

The woman told KCTV-5 that she was paralyzed with fear because she can’t swim.

“Thank God I’m still alive,” she told a reporter.

Between 4 and 7 inches of rain fell across a widespread area, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

Indian Creek at State Line in Kansas City was cresting at 27 feet, which broke the previous record by almost 2 feet, the National Weather Service reported.

Tomahawk Creek at Roe Avenue in Leawood reached a record level of 20.81 feet, more than a foot above the previous record.

Olathe officials said that several cars were stranded when floodwaters forced Blackbob Road at Indian Creek to close in both directions.

Both directions of Interstate 35 were closed at Lamar Avenue due to flooding, the Kansas Department of Transportation reported at 4 a.m. About 1 1/2 hours later, the northbound lanes of I-35 were reopened. Southbound I-35, however, remained closed.

The National Weather Service cautioned drivers early Thursday on Facebook.

“Do not attempt to cross a flooded roadway,” the National Weather Service warned. “Way too many people are learning why this is such a bad idea and are having to be rescued from their vehicles.”

Phones were ringing constantly Thursday morning at Santa Fe Tow Service in Lenexa, said sales manager Jason Steeley. Many came from drivers whose vehicle engines conked out after they drove into deep water, he said.

“We’re slammed,” he said.

Overnight storms dumped heavy rains across the Kansas City area, leading to serious flooding, several closed roads and water rescues early Thursday. Indian Creek along 103rd Street near Wornall Road raged out of its banks, forcing the Kansas City Fire Department to rescue a couple of people inside Coach's Bar & Grill. Residents of Willow Creek Apartments, 201 W. 99th Terrace, awoke to find water knee-deep in the elevator and many cars submerged in flood waters in the parking lot. Tammy Ljungblad The Kansas City Star

Raytown police reported that Missouri 350 was closed between Westridge and Noland in both directions because of high water.

RideKC said that as of 7 a.m., most bus routes were running 5 to 10 minutes behind schedule. Riders were advised not to walk into standing or rushing water to reach a bus stop.

Johnson County riders should expect delays because buses had to detour around flood areas.

As of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, flooding had closed two Cass County roads: Missouri 58 just west of Pleasant Hill and Route E north of Strasburg.

In addition, four more roads were closed in Johnson County, Mo., and one in Bates County.

Brookside resident Lea Murphy, who lives on 55th Terrace near an area known as suicide hill, woke to find logs had washed into her yard. Then she found 4 inches of water standing in her basement. It marks the third time in two years she’s had to clean up from basement flooding. Her rain gauge showed 4 1/2 inches had fallen overnight, she said.

Family members and employees were busy cleaning up Le Salon Images in a shopping center near 103rd Street and Wornall after a flash flood.