INNUNDATED with water, Hesston residents were battening the hatches and bailing water on Monday night.
According to Karen Fulk, the official NOAA precipitation reporter for Hesston, recorded 5.43 inches of rainfall. The July rainfall total this year is 11.54 inches. In 2012, the July rainfall total was .81 of an inch.
According to City Administrator John Carder, Monday night’s rains qualified as a 500-year flood event.
“The flood plain maps are established by FEMA. Essentially, they determine what certain flood districts. They consider hazard districts for 100 and 500 year flood plains. We had a 500-year flood event [Monday] night,” he said.
For those concerned about flooded properties being included in new hazard areas, Carder said the maps will not change.
“As far as flood plains, those determinations are made by elevation. The flood plain maps will not be changed because of a single flood event,” he said.
Businesses, churches and homes were hit hard by floodwater.
Treva Greaser of Schowalter Villa said flooding in residents’ rooms meant moving dozens of residents to higher, drier areas.
“We have made arrangements for residents to they had a dry place to sleep and we continue to work at getting things cleaned up so they can return as soon as possible,” she said.
Greaser said Villa staff were quick to respond to the flooding and move residents to safer areas.
“Our staff really responded last night. We had Maintenance, Grounds, Nursing and Housekeeping jumped in and did whatever they could to help. It was an amazing response from our team,” she said.
For residents and their families concerned about damage to personal property, Greaser encouraged them to contact their insurance agents.
“If residents do have property damage, they can check with their own insurance company. We are working with our own company as well,” she said.
Hesston United Methodist Church, with a history of flooding, was protected from the onslaught of water.
“We had about eight inches of water up against the back door. But, we had grating near the door that empties into a sump pump. The water was coming under the door and into that grating. I could hear the sump pump trying to keep up. But we didn’t have any damage. If I had opened the door, the whole basement would have been flooded,” said Melody
Hesston Mennonite Church was not so fortunate.
“We still have moisture to get out of the carpet in the basement. Donnie Hostetler, our facilities person, is working with that. It is in an area that we are going to have to keep an eye on so it doesn’t develop into a more serious condition,” said a representative from the church.