Summer storms have drowned Kansas City with nearly two times the normal amount of rain since July.
The storms dumped as much as 9 inches of rain on Kansas City overnight Monday, causing historic flooding. It was the third time in less than a month where many parts of the metro area saw more than 6 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
That’s good news for lawns, which typically would be struggling because of a lack of moisture. But the rain is testing Kansas Citians’ mettle when it comes to dealing with flooded basements, roads and businesses.
The latest rounds of storms caused historic flooding in south Kansas City along Indian Creek at State Line where the water crested at 28.22, breaking a record set last month.
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Kansas City International Airport set a record rainfall of 4.08 inches for Monday. The previous high for that date was 2.55 inches, set in 1938.
Widespread rainfall totaled more than 4 inches, but some areas reported as much as 9 inches of rain. KCI reported 6.14 inches of rainfall for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Some of the harder-hit areas included Hillsdale Lake, which saw 8.85 inches of total rainfall; Raytown, 7.7 inches; Lenexa, 6.45 inches; and Overland Park — south of 85th Street — where 6.3 inches fell.
The last seven weeks have been abnormally wet. The Wheeler Downtown Airport, for example, saw total rainfall of 7.94 inches in July. Normal for the month is 3.97 inches.
So far this month, 7.06 inches of rain has fallen at the downtown airport. Normal rainfall through Aug. 21 is 2.98 inches.
“We are certainly much higher than normal for the downtown airport,” said Jonathan Welsh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
At KCI, the official recording station for Kansas City, 5 inches of rain fell in July, slightly more than the normal rainfall of 4.45 inches for that month.
So far this month, 7.59 inches of rain has fallen at the airport. That’s well above the normal of 2.5 inches for the same period.
The torrential rains from the storms Monday prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency alert for the entire Kansas City area.
This was just the second time that the National Weather issued a flash flood emergency alert for the Kansas City area — the last time was a year ago, for Aug. 26 and 27, Welsh said.
“The good news is that we are not anticipating anything as far as precipitation goes for the next several days,” Welsh said.