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Weather

Wichita Fire Department Warns Residents Ahead Of Severe Weather, Flooding

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The Wichita Fire Department is asking residents to avoid low-lying, flood-prone areas including the Arkansas River and area creeks for the next several days. Saturated soil, due to recent and forecasted rains, may make these areas more prone to flooding.

Local Emergency Services have responded to dozens of submersions calls as a result of recent rains. Representatives say many of those calls were preventable if residents had avoided water covered roadways or heeded warning signs.

“Please, do not drive into flooded roadways,” WFD Chief Ronald D. Blackwell said. “You are putting yourself, your family and emergency workers in peril when you drive into flooded streets.”

The National Weather Service says severe weather is expected to develop this afternoon and continue into evening hours. Heavy rain, baseball-sized hail and damaging winds in excess of 70-miles-per hour are likely. Tornadoes are also possible. October tornadoes are less common than springtime storms but not unheard of. According to the Storm Prediction Center, 40 tornadoes were recorded in October 2015.

In all, about 12 million people living in an area stretching from Oklahoma to Minnesota and South Dakota could see severe weather.

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter, @AbigailKMUW

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