Downpour dumps damage on Southeast area


Kate Weis

Kate Weis’s family’s barn stands in water after the July 4 flood. The flooding cancelled the family’s Fourth of July plans.

Breanna Standley, Photo Editor

As we all know, the rain never stopped this summer. Downpour after downpour struck the Southeast of Saline area all summer long. Many people experienced flooded basements, washed out driveways, or overflowing ponds. 

The Southeast of Saline area received around ten inches of rain on July 4 and caused quite a bit of damage to homes and families all around. 

One family in particular, in between Salina and the school, had an especially hard time with the flooding when their driveway was swept away. Burke Clements, who graduated last spring, said his family’s driveway washed out so badly that instead of being able to drive up to their house, they had to park and take a boat to their house.

Mrs. Kim Clements, Burke’s mom, explained the magnitude of the destruction.

 “John (Burke’s dad) thought maybe he could put up a temporary walk bridge across the gap. That’s when we decided our hole was at least 40 foot wide and we couldn’t be building a bridge. So…. we drug out the rowboat.”

Some distance south in Lindsborg, Mr. Kendall Lynn’s home faced flooding issues as well. They had to rip out carpet in their basement very early into the summer and had to try to keep the basement as dry as possible for the rest of the summer.

Mr. Lynn said that he felt a squish when he stepped into his basement on May 27 and it all went downhill after that – even though he was running the wet vac almost constantly.

“I did consider a move and I kind of get nervous at every rain now, but we will stay in our home and deal with the work for now,” Lynn said.

The carpet in Mr. Lynn’s house was only a few years old, but he knew it had to go. 

“My wife and I started to take things out..  when that was done I made the decision we had to cut the carpet out,” Lynn said.

In order to get all of the work done, he invited friends (including Mr. Kurt Krehbiel) over to help him combat the damage. 

After tearing out the carpet, the Lynns set up fans to try and dry out the basement, but the rain just kept coming. They tried to put a water sealant on the floor but again the rain raged on. They then ripped out the baseboard and discovered some mold. 

The Lynns will be looking at installing a PVC baseboard to prevent these damages from happening in the future. They will be looking into new carpet and will also be addressing some drainage problems in the weeks to come.

“I now get a little nervous when it rains thinking will it happen again,” Lynn said. “It had never done this like this in over 20 years, and I hope it does not happen again.”

People living in Gypsum also experienced damage in their homes. Gypsum received 11 inches of rain on the fourth of July. Sophomore Karson Hall said that after the dike was completely flooded over, it became impossible to get in or out of Gypsum. 

He said that he came home to three inches of standing water in his basement which was enough to cause some damage with the flooring, but that’s not the only damage he saw. The Halls also experienced some damage to their crops and delays in getting into fields.

“My dad wasn’t able to work on the farm for a few days until the water cleared out,” Hall said. 

The school renovations also were delayed by the continuous rain this summer. There was a lot of construction going on throughout the summer. The science rooms were being redone, the main office was being moved, the weight room was being worked on, the roof was getting fixed, and the football field and track were being redone. 

The school opened two days late due to the delays, and science teachers were scrambling to get their rooms ready as final touches such as cabinet installations were completed with very little time before school began. 

The enlarged science rooms received new flooring and all new desks and cabinets. 

The counselor’s  office, which was restructured, is still without its permanent doors, and roof work continues.

While the track and field construction were also delayed, the football field was ready for the Sept. 6 opening game against Sacred Heart, a 54-0 win on the new turf.