Rain relief

6/29/2014

Local moisture always welcome regardless of how it arrives.

Local moisture always welcome regardless of how it arrives.

Wow.

What more could be said after a torrential downpour greeted the area early Saturday, a storm that resulted in the second highest rainfall total in Garden City since such records were first recorded in 1947?

Garden City officially received 4.37 inches of rain for the day, the second highest amount since 1947. The highest rainfall total of 5.27 inches was recorded on Oct. 4, 1969.

So far for the month of June, the total of 10.64 inches of rain did edge past the previous monthly record of 10.43 inches set in July 1979.

The local rainfall total accumulated in just a few hours, with AccuWeather reporting 1.36 inches of rain in 47 minutes.

Garden City wasn't alone in receiving heavy rain Saturday. Areas of northern Haskell, Gray and Grant counties reportedly received more than 3 inches from the storm.

While the rain was more than welcome in a drought-stricken and agriculture-driven region, the deluge also created plenty of inconveniences. In Garden City, flooded streets led to a number of people being helped out of their stranded vehicles by emergency responders — a situation that brought a needed reminder of why it never makes sense to try to drive through a flooded road.

Rain that fell in such a fast and furious way early Saturday also led to building problems — some Main Street businesses sustained roof damage due to the weight of the rain — and plenty of wet basements were reported around town. In the aftermath, standing water in places throughout the community brought the kind of sights many local residents have never seen.

For area wheat farmers, the latest rainfall came at a challenging time in the midst of the harvest. We also know a long, steady rain would have been even more beneficial for soil and crops than the quicker downpour.

But considering the relentless drought, no one has cause to complain about significant moisture whenever and however it arrives in arid western Kansas.

Spirits no doubt were lifted in the farm fields and beyond. Once again, the wet stuff brought much more to celebrate than lament.

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