Heavy rain, flooding, a tornado…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: May 21, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiMay 21, 2019

Parts of Kansas are dealing with heavy rain and flooding.  After several days of soaking rain, more is in the forecast throughout this week. Some areas will see two to five-inches of rain with locally heavier amounts possible.  Widespread flash flooding has been reported in some parts of the state. Law enforcement carried out multiple rescues from stranded vehicles Monday. Residents of the Saline County Community of New Cambria have been asked to voluntarily evacuate ahead of anticipated record flooding.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is expanding a state disaster declaration.  Ten more counties have been added to the declaration as a result of this week’s heavy rains and flooding in the state.  Nearly 30 Kansas counties are now a part of the disaster declaration, which makes them eligible to use state resources to help with storm response and recovery efforts.

No injuries are reported after a brief tornado touchdown in Crawford County.  The tornado caused damage yesterday to a building and trees south of Pittsburg.  The severe storm also caused power outages in parts of Crawford County.

A California man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for smuggling almost 30 pounds of methamphetamine into Kansas. 30-year-old Christian Delgado-Lopez from Dana Point, Calif., was driving a rented Ford F-150 when the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped him on U.S. Highway 54 in Meade County Kansas. Delgado-Lopez and his passenger told the trooper they were on their way to Wichita. A search of the vehicle turned up the methamphetamine hidden in a spare tire.

A disturbance by 10 teens at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex resulted in property damage in three living units.  An investigation, being led by the Kansas Department of Correction’s Enforcement’s Apprehension and Investigation Unit, has yet to identify the amount of property damage caused by the 10 juvenile males ranging in age from 17-19 or the reason for the incident.  The Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, the state’s only juvenile correctional facility, has a population of 167.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran offered United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue his recommendations on how to expand export markets, distribute the potential additional round of trade assistance programs and purchase U.S.-grown commodities for international food aid programs. First and foremost: resolve the ongoing trade dispute with China. Moran said farmers are on the verge of financial collapse. . “Kansas farmers and ranchers understand the need to hold China accountable for bad behavior on trade. Yet, net farm income has fallen by 50 percent since 2013 and the trade war has pushed commodity prices down even further. Many farmers and ranchers are on the verge of financial collapse. Another round of payments to producers and commodity purchases by USDA may provide short term relief for farmers, but will not make up for lost export markets and long term implications of the trade disputes.” “The President has encouraged U.S. consumers to not buy goods from China as a way to avoid paying tariffs,” Sen. Moran continued. “However, consumers changing their purchasing decisions to avoid the tariffs provides no solution or relief for Kansas and other states who are dependent on selling what we produce to China and other foreign markets. The same logic expressed by President Trump applies to foreign buyers who are choosing to no longer purchase U.S. agriculture commodities in a similar attempt to avoid the retaliatory tariffs applied to our exports.”

The largest provider of electricity in Kansas was recently recognized as one of America’s Best Employers for 2019 by Forbes. Forbes surveyed 50,000 Americans working for companies with 1,000 or more employees. It used this information to create a list of the best large and midsize companies. Westar Energy in Kansas was recognized in the midsize category.

A historic airplane stops in Kansas.  A C-47 warbird landed in Wichita during its journey to Normandy, France.  The plane, which is nicknamed Miss Montana, is expected to join the D-Day squadron next month as part of the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion of France.  Volunteers in Montana spent a year restoring the aircraft.

Dressbarn is planning to close all of its stores across the country, including its stores across Kansas and in Salina. The company this week announced plans to commence a wind down of its retail operations, including the eventual closure of its approximately 650 stores. Dressbarn has six stores across Kansas.

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