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  • Last modified 51 days ago (May 30, 2019)

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Storms continue, likely to return

News editor

Tuesday’s stormy weather is expected to go away for a couple of days, but could quickly return, said Kevin Darmofal, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

Tuesday bought a half an inch to an inch of rain to Tampa and Durham, he said.

Law enforcement confirmed 60 mph winds and quarter-size hail from a Tuesday evening storm that hit Burns.

Darmofal said the county would have a chance to dry out the rest of this week with no rain and temperatures in the mid-70s, but storms are on the horizon Friday night.

“We should definitely be on the lookout for strong severe storms by the weekend again,” he said.

Assistant lake manager Kevin McCoy of the Army Corps of Engineers said engineers at the dam are still monitoring it 24 hours a day.

One floodgate was raised six inches Sunday and two were raised six inches Tuesday to help prevent the reservoir from reaching its capacity at 1,358.50 feet. On Tuesday afternoon the water level stood at 1,358.09.

Visitors to the reservoir are still allowed to fish in Marion Cove and off the dam, but all other areas are off limits.

Curious people who stray into sites that are obviously closed are creating a hardship for staff who are trying to monitor the dam, he said.

McCoy hollered at three boys Sunday who wandered near the the dam as water was being released. The area is a construction site as a bridge over the release gate is being demolished and rebuilt. Anyone on site is required to wear a safety vest and hard hat for protection.

Some visitors also had to be ejected Sunday for trying to swim in a closed beach. McCoy said he had to order them to leave before he could let water out of the dam.

“I cannot stress what a burden that has been to us,” he said.

Conditions are mostly safe for boaters who launch from the cove as most of the debris kicked up by high water has blown ashore. But McCoy said they should still keep and eye out.

Lance Thompson of McPherson who was fishing Sunday with his friend, Marion resident Rick O’Bannon, said he noticed a few logs in the water.

“There are some. You have to be a little bit careful, but it’s not too bad,” he said.

He said the fishing was “pretty good.” They caught mostly walleye, but he noted that the water is the highest he could ever remember it.

Izzie Klassen, who lived on the west side of the reservoir for about six years, said she remembered the flooding in the 1990s.

“I’ve seen it worse,” she said. “It’s been some time back.”

She now lives in Hillboro, but said she and her family keep coming back to visit.

“We love this reservoir, she said. “It’s what keeps me here. I’m a transplant. OK, I’ve lived here 47 years, but I’m a transplant and I won’t go back around the Kansas City area around my family because I love this.”

Last modified May 30, 2019

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