The month of April finished with a bang, weather-wise, on Tuesday, as over five inches of rain were dumped on Harrisonville, according to the National Weather Service.
Tuesday’s storms caused power outages, flooding and other issues throughout town.
Several of the City’s departments play an important role in responding to severe weather events and each of them were hard at work during Tuesday’s storms.
Phones began ringing off the hook shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Harrisonville Electric Department, as hundreds of residents on the south end of town had suddenly lost power. But, it was quickly discovered that the problem had originated higher up the ladder. The department was quickly notified by Kansas City Power & Light that one of the company's transmission feeders had gone down, causing the outage. Crews from KCP&L were quickly dispatched and had the power back on in less than two hours. During that time, the Electric Department, dispatchers at the Harrisonville Police Department and the clerks at City Hall received hundreds of phone calls reporting the outage.
The Electric Department did respond to one outage during Tuesday’s storm, in the 1900 block of Blueberry Drive. The outage was reported at 5 p.m. and was found to be an equipment failure. Power was restored to the area at 5:30 p.m.
Public Works Director Eric Patterson praised the efforts of the department’s tree-trimming crews and the work of contractor The Shade Tree Service Company, as zero outages were caused by downed or blown tree limbs.
The Harrisonville Streets Department was also hard at work, as the heavy rains fell throughout town. Flooding in Harrisonville City Park forced street closures on Ash and N Lexington Streets, as water crossed the road at both locations.
Streets crews also kept busy throughout the day by monitoring drainage systems throughout town. The storm structures under Interstate 49 have been checked on and are operating efficiently. Streets Superintendent Rodney Jacobs says crews will check on the structures again after the water goes down.
A pothole was reported on Mechanic Street during the storm and was patched by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Streets crews did additional patchwork on the hole early Wednesday morning.
Crews stayed busy Wednesday by cleaning out several storm drainage areas and sweeping roadways. The closed portion of N Lexington Street has been reopened, as flooding in the area has receded. Ash Street, between Bradley Avenue and Lexington, remains closed due to water over the roadway.
Harrisonville’s Water and Waste Water Departments had their work cut out for them during the storms, as the City’s Waste Water Plant reached capacity. Tuesday’s rain brought nine million gallons of water to the plant. That’s nearly five times more water than what runs through the plant on a normal day. Four million gallons of water was processed by the plant, while five million gallons were diverted to the extraneous flow basin and will be processed throughout the rest of the week.
The increased workload did cause two pumps at the plant to malfunction but both were able to be restored within 24 hours. No backups were reported within the City’s sanitary sewers.
On Wednesday, Water crews inspected the spillways at the lakes in the City Park and reported that both are structurally sound and holding.
City Parks and Recreation staff have also been working near the spillways. On Wednesday, they cleared debris from the area to ensure a clear path for the water to flow and also cleared fallen limbs and debris, brought down by the heavy rain, from trails throughout town.
The City’s Police and EMS Departments were also an active part of the soggy day, as they responded to multiple storm related crashes. No injuries were reported.
The departments also monitored water levels in the many creeks and waterways throughout town. Fire Chief Eric Myler says elevations were the highest at about 7 p.m. Tuesday but quickly receded.
Forecasters predict more rain will be heading toward Harrisonville in the coming days and residents are asked to continue to use caution when there is a threat of severe weather.