KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All of this recent rainwater has to go somewhere.
Some parts of the Kansas City metro have seen rainfall for seven days in a row, and it’s making problems for people at home and on the roads.
Rain totals from a wetter-than-average June are adding up. FOX4 Meteorologist Joe Lauria said we’ve seen nearly seven inches of rainfall lately, putting us well above average for the month.
Too often, that excess water is finding its way into residential basements. Basement bailout companies, such as Mister Basement, are busy with telephone calls from worried homeowners. Brad Bowers, the company’s owner, said many of those calls come from homeowners who are seeing water inside their homes for the first time.
“When you have this much moisture, or any moisture at all, you can promote mold growth. That can be, for just about anyone, a serious health issue,” Bowers said.
Bowers recommends keeping downspouts and gutters clear, a simple move that can help avoid expensive basement repairs.
First responders are also keeping their eyes on collections of water, such as the twin underpasses at Ninth and Hardesty in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast. That’s considered a trouble spot, where floodwaters often mount, and drivers sometimes find themselves trapped. By Wednesday afternoon, most floodwaters had cleared from that location.
Assistant Kansas City Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said it takes only a half inch of moving water to sweep away a car.
“Water is a very powerful force,” Walker said. “If it’s standing still water, and it gets in your exhaust, it can kill your engine. Then, you’re stuck in water where you can’t see. People don’t think about the hazards that come with that.”
Walker said some storms deliver so much rain in a short amount of time, his crews will respond to 20 to 30 calls per hour from people trapped by flooding. Fortunately, this week’s rainy period hasn’t been that challenging. Chief Walker also mentioned trouble under water that can’t be seen until it’s too late, such as open manholes, which can seriously injure anyone who steps into them.