Flash flooding leads to water rescue, submerged roadways

By Doug Carder
Miami County Republic – October 8, 2018

Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Osawatomie Fire Department had to rescue three people from a submerged pickup at 347th Street and Hedge Lane early Monday morning as flash flooding spilled across more than a dozen roads in the county.

“Two vehicles, a car and a truck, were submerged at 347th and Hedge Lane,” said Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love, who also heads up the county’s water rescue team. “A lady in the car was able to walk, out but we had to rescue three men from the truck.”

There were no injuries, Love said.

The water rescue team received two other reports of vehicles stuck in rising water, the first call of the day coming in around 5:30 a.m. at 347th Street and Mission Belleview Road.

“In that case, the car apparently got out of the water, because no one was there when we arrived,” Love said.

After rescuing the three men and a call about a natural gas leak, a third rescue call dispatched the team to another stranded motorist.

“The latest one was on 363rd between Hedge and Harmony,” Love said. “They also had gotten the vehicle out before we arrived.”

The rescue team had to contend with rising water while the three men were being rescued from the pickup Monday morning, Love said.

“We had to pull our truck and trailer back twice while we were there, because of the high water,” Love said. “It was rising pretty quickly.”

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling the roads, looking for water running across in low-water crossings and other areas prone to flooding, Undersheriff Wayne Minckley said. Additional patrols were not necessary Monday morning, but Minckley said extra patrols would be added if floodwaters reached residential areas.

“I think we still have another day and a half of this [based on forecasts],” Minkley said late Monday morning. “Now that it’s so saturated, we could see some more flash flooding [if the rains persist].”

Some areas of Miami County were reporting more than 6 inches of rain had fallen since Friday.

All the rescue calls so far have been related to vehicles driving into high water, Minckley said midday Monday. He urged motorists not to drive around barricades and turn around if they encounter a road covered with water rather than trying to drive through it.

The Marais des Cygnes River continued to rise Monday and was expected to crest several feet above flood stage, which is 28 feet. Minckley said the sheriff’s office also is keeping an eye on low-lying areas around Pottawatomie Creek.

A flash flood warning remained in effect for Miami County until 4 p.m. Monday. The forecast called for more rain Monday evening and Tuesday.

“Even though the rain is on a break, the rising water is not,” Love said Monday morning. “If it’s more than a puddle, turn around. It’s not worth it.”


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