Kansas City hit with flash flood emergency Friday night

Heavy rains and flash flooding in Kansas City prompted more than 10 water rescues before 11 p.m. due to the flash flooding.

(Kathy Lu /The Kansas City Star via AP)
Vehicles are submerged in floodwaters in the Westport neighborhood of Kansas City Mo., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.

Heavy rain has swamped several areas of Kansas City, prompting high-water rescues and a temporary stoppage of the city's downtown streetcar service.

KMBC-TV reported that Friday night's storms caused Brush Creek, which runs through the south side of the city, to rise 10 feet in an hour.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Emergency until 1:45 a.m. Saturday. The service has never issued one of these warnings in Kansas City.  A Flash Flood Emergency indicates an imminent severe flooding situation in densely populated areas, similar to the procedure for declaring a tornado emergency.

The Department of Homeland Security advises that when there's a flood warning, residents should:

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Johnson County Emergency Management office said there were more than 10 water rescues before 11 p.m. due to the flash flooding.

After 9 p.m. reports came from around the metro area of roads covered in high water. The interstate loop around downtown Kansas City was snarled and flooded in many places. Police closed down roads across the city. Brush Creek pushed over its banks. Much of Westport and the Country Club Plaza were reported to be flooded, with some cars nearly submerged in water.

The streetcar service was suspended for an hour downtown due to flooding, and highways around downtown took on water, too.

The National Weather Service in Kansas City tweeted Saturday that 4.56 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period.

The Kansas Cit Star reported that storms over the Kansas City area Friday night were part of a system of severe weather that brought the threat of tornadoes earlier in the day.

A tornado reportedly touched down near Lathrop, Mo., Friday about 7:45 p.m., according to the weather service.

Some media outlets reported sightings of debris in the area. The storm may have dropped hail up to 1-inch in diameter in the area, the weather service said.

A flash flood warning in Platte, Clinton and Leavenworth counties is to remain in effect until 1:45 a.m. Some roadways were reported to be covered with water.

In Clay County, sheriff’s deputies reported high water on Missouri 92. In Kansas City, police said the highway offramp from Missouri 152 to North Oak was flooded, and officers were going to block traffic there shortly after 8 p.m.

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