weather

Build higher, build stronger — it pays off big in Kansas.

Disaster mitigation investments in Kansas yielded more savings than efforts in any other state, a new study found. The Pew Charitable Trusts listed Missouri as a close second.

Early, heavy and, in some areas, nearly relentless rains have led to a late planting season across much of the central United States, especially for corn.

Flooded fields can stymie planting — even if the rain lets up for a couple of days — because the ground is too wet and soft for heavy equipment. Even where farmers were able to plant, heavy rain sometimes required another round of seeds after the first ones were swamped.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

The month of May was an all-timer in Kansas, as sites across the state recorded rain on all but two days. The deluge broke state and local rainfall records as well as setting several high water marks in Kansas’ rivers, streams, and reservoirs.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Laura Kelly is seeking a federal disaster declaration, citing severe weather and flooding that continue to ravage the state.

Kelly, a Democrat, announced the request to President Donald Trump on Monday, the same day Republican Gov. Mike Parson in neighboring Missouri made the same request for his state.

Kelly is seeking federal money to help pay for shelter management, water rescues, human services support and other needs.

Overflowing rivers and reservoirs across Kansas are already producing significant flooding, particularly in the southeast corner of the state.

But, forecasters say, things could get much worse over the next several days as slow-moving thunderstorms develop over central and northeast Kansas.

Wind scrapes across the plains of southwest Kansas like few places in the country.

It drives a booming new industry of turbines that feeds electricity across the region. But at times, the wind gets out of hand.

This week, it plowed across the landscape, causing trucks to swerve on highways, kicking up dust clouds and freeing family pets by knocking down fences.

Updated, 2:53 p.m. Thursday: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday, following flooding along the Missouri River.

Thursday morning the river breached a levee near Winthrop, Missouri, across from Atchison, Kansas. 

Brian Grimmett

Kansas experienced its 23rd-wettest year on record in 2018, according to weather data that goes back as far as 1895. 

The blizzard only lasted a few hours, but it dropped inches of snow and wreaked plenty of havoc Sunday, closing 235 miles of Interstate 70 in Kansas for several hours and playing a role in accidents in Kansas and Missouri.

School cancellations started to pile up Sunday night, including the University of Kansas and UMKC.

Forecasters say the El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean should lead to slightly warmer and wetter conditions across the Midwest this winter. That’s good news for some farmers who struggled with drought over the summer.

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