Labor Day storm dumps “possibly historic” levels of rainfall on MHK

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First responders bring Michael Rasmussen and his dog Leo out of flooded waters near the Evergreen Apartments complex on Garden Way south of Anderson on Monday morning. Severe rainfall across the city drenched many streets and stranded several Manhattan residents. (Rafael Garcia | Collegian Media Group)

Updated at 12:48 p.m.: Homes, apartment complexes and a residence hall flooded after severe thunderstorms deposited several inches of rain to drench Manhattan and surrounding areas overnight.

“Rainfall in the area is possibly historic, but it is still early,” Brandon Drake, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka, said. “More rain is expected, and there will be an official measurement when the day is done.”

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Residents in some areas are unable to exit their homes.

Rainfall totals varied across the region, with the lower end of the range at around 8 inches, Drake said. One location reported as much as 9.31 inches of rain overnight.

Flooding appeared to be minimal on campus, although Moore Hall’s basement was flooded Monday morning. A steam pipe ruptured inside Ahearn Fieldhouse, and much of the building was filled with steam. Drops of hot water splashed down onto soaked hallways in the building, and a worker in the building said the ruptured pipe was likely caused by the torrential rain.

The storm also brought power outages. According to Westar Energy’s outage map, almost 2,000 in the Manhattan area are affected.

“We are working with city officials to make sure that we minimize the threat of electric shock with the flooding,” Westar Energy representative Gina Penzig said. “With that in mind, some areas where power has been shut down may not have power until tomorrow.”

Some power was intentionally turned off so that firefighters could perform safer water rescues for people who needed to be evacuated.

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A resident inspects flooding surrounding a car off Stone Drive following "possibly historic" levels of rainfall. (Rachel Hogan | Collegian Media Group)

One such location was an apartment complex area on Garden Way south of Anderson Avenue. Emergency responders performed 20 rescues and expect to perform another 20 at this location alone. Up to four more complexes across town are being evacuated.

Students displaced by flood water and damages can meet with representatives from the Office of Student Life in the Kansas State Student Union.

More rain is expected throughout the week, which could exacerbate flooding.

“We’re still expecting rain through Thursday and into Friday,” Drake said. “The estimate is about one to three inches, which could cause more problems if concentrated on areas already impacted by flooding.”

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A car rests on a curb at the intersection of Charles Little and Tecumseh Monday morning, appearing to have been picked up by overnight flood waters and floated over the curb. Flooding across much of Manhattan early Monday morning left several citizens stranded, with even more rain the forecast through the rest of the week. (Rafael Garcia | Collegian Media Group)

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Leah Zimmerli
Hi there! I’m Leah Zimmerli, community desk co-editor, relentless optimist, and lover of big and small dogs. I’m a junior in political science and journalism from Overland Park, Kansas. I hope to bring you pieces that challenge you, that broaden your mindset, and help you learn more about your K-State community.