Wet weekend result of plentiful rain just prior to holiday in Pratt, surrounding counties

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Road work on Pratt's main thorough-fair, First Street, also known as U.S. Highway 54/400 will experience a slight delay due to rain that fell on Friday, creating a gigantic mud hole at the Mound and First street intersection.

Labor Day Weekend has traditionally been a wet-weather event in Pratt County and the just-past holiday was no exception this year. According to radar-derived rainfall report from the U.S. National Weather Service in Dodge City, parts of Pratt County received 1.5 to 2 inches of rain over a three-day period.

While the rainfall of 2021 was no comparison to the Labor Day flood of 2018 when the Ninnescah River overtopped the bridge south of town as well as at Pratt County Veteran's Memorial Lake, causing damage to the lake facilities and roads, there were some minor consequences of the downfall and the storms that came with it this year.

Some local football games had to be cancelled, postponed or moved up in start-times to keep players and spectators safe. An on-going road construction project on First Street from New Street to Mound Street in Pratt was shut-down for a day or two, with heavy equipment sitting in large muddy water holes, a result of the deluge.

Mike Umscheid, meteorologist at the Dodge weather service, said the northern part of Pratt County received the most rain on Thursday night, with 1.16 inches of rain reported Friday morning, September 3. Earlier in the week, the southern part of Pratt County was blessed with 1.5 inches, reported from the Sawyer and Coats areas on Thursday. 

Of course, Pratt and neighboring counties were not in the bull's eye, so-to-speak, for the most Labor-Day-Weekend-affecting rains this year. That award went to an area just north of Cimmaron in Ford County, where rain gages showed a state-high 7 inches of rain on Thursday night. Meade County reported 3 inches of rain that same night.

The extreme eastern side of Edwards County and western part of Stafford County notched 2.4 inches of rain during that same time period, with a weather-station report coming in from four miles southwest of Macksville.

Belvidere in southwestern Kiowa County showed around 2 inches of rain, according to reports.

Umscheid said the long-term outlook for next weekend and beyond shows continued above average temperatures and below average precipitation through at least mid-September for Pratt and surrounding counties in southcentral and western Kansas.