Iola tops average annual rainfall

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Register/Richard Luken
A low-water bridge just south of the entrance to the Allen County landfill southeast of LaHarpe was made impassable by heavy overnight rain. The sign means what it says. As of press time, the Neosho River near Iola was at 18.2 feet and was expected to crest at 19.4 feet at 7 o’clock tonight. Flood stage is 15 feet, with moderate flooding expected when the river reaches 21 feet. Major flooding occurs at 27 feet.

The rain gauge doesn’t lie. Officially, it’s buckets.
In the 24 hours ending at 7 a.m. today, 3.95 inches of rain had fallen. Totals of five and six inches were reported elsewhere in Allen County, resulting in flooded streams overwhelming low-water bridges.
Bill King, director of Public Works, said county crews blocked off the blacktop road south of LaHarpe where water was running over the road.
Barricades were not erected where streams frequently spill over bridges, King said.
“Those places are marked with signs and most people who travel the roads are aware that flooding occurs when we get heavy rains. A good thing is that the rain came steadily and not all at once.”
King and Pam Beasley, county emergency management director, reminded motorists that it was foolhardy to drive onto a bridge covered with water, no matter how shallow it might seem.
“It doesn’t take much of a current to cause a problem,” King said.
Today’s rainfall in Iola pushed the September total to 6.61 inches. The month’s average is 4.65 inches. Also, it put the total for the year at 40.14, which is 12.69 inches more than normal through today and more than two inches above Iola’s average annual rainfall of 37.74 inches.