Flood waters were up to front doors in a couple of Preston residents Monday as six inches of rain hit in and around Preston causing water to run over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across K-61 on the north side of Preston.
Preston residents kept a close eye on rising water Monday when a localized rain storm dumped five inches of rain on the town that eventually grew to six inches and flooded the area on the north side of K-61 at Preston.
The heavy rain flooded the area around the grain elevator making the office building an island but the worst flooding was on the north side of the Union Pacific tracks where water reached the front doors of several homes.
Preston resident John McCune said that a little water had gotten inside his home and was on the floor in a couple of rooms. Water had completely surrounded his home and had come up very quickly.
Tim Branscom, Pratt County Emergency Manager, said volunteers had filled 100 sandbags to place around McCune's home as well as a couple of others where water had also reached the front door. The sand bags will be left there in case they need to be used later on tonight.
Water had also gotten up to a former mortuary building in Preston.There was some low level flooding in Preston but it was minor compared to the north side of the highway.
The water at Preston had gotten so high that is was running over the Union Pacific tracks, filled the ditch and was running across K-61 as well.
Terryl Jordan, Union Pacific track inspector made several trips across the area were water was running and determined that the line was still safe for traffic. He said the trains would be allowed to run but they would be slowed down as a safety factor.
Union Pacific will continue to remain on site and monitor the tracks throughout the night. Rain is expected to continue in the area and they will check the tracks on a regular basis to check for any erosion.
Because the water was also running across K-61, Kansas Department of Transportation had a crew check the highway for erosion and slow traffic down as it went through the water to prevent vehicles from going off the road.
Branscom said the culvert under the highway was working but it just couldn't keep up with the heavy amount of rain in such a short amount of time.
Pratt County Sheriff Jimmy White said even with the KDOT crews holding signs, there were some that refused to slow down and took a risk when they drove through the water.
At the Pratt County Commission meeting Monday, Branscom brought the commissioners up to date on the situation in Preston. At 5:30 p.m. he said the water was starting to recede and that if Preston didn't get any more heavy down pours, they should be OK for the rest of the night and the water should continue to recede.
The senior center in Preston was opened for the residents of the two homes that were flooded but both said they would either stay in the houses or would spend the night with friends if necessary, Branscom said.
More rain was forecast for the evening and nighttime so crews will continue to monitor the railroad and highway for signs of erosion.
Other areas in the county also got rain Monday but not as much that fell in and around Preston. Over two inches was recorded in Pratt by the middle of the afternoon.