By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
High water mark
With roads still closed, disaster decree expedites emergency response
new_HG_South Hoisington flooded.JPG
Shown is the flooding in Hoisington. U.S. 281 in Hoisington. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer Wednesday afternoon issued a State of Disaster Emergency declaration for the state in response to the recent heavy rains that have caused localized flooding and flash floods in a number of counties, including Barton County.

The governor’s action comes as a host of county roads remain closed due to the high water, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said. None of the roads closed Tuesday in the wake of the rain have been reopened, and new roads have been added to the closed listing.

Current closures include:

• Olmitz — Galatia blacktop — north of K-4

• NE 100 Road — east from U.S. 281

• NW 30 Avenue — north of Keystone Road (NW 100 Road) to K-4, flooded and impassable

• NW 20 Avenue — north of Keystone to K-4

• NW 10 Avenue — north of Keystone to K-4

• NE 100 Road — U.S. 281 to NE 20 Avenue

• NW 50 Avenue — South of Mulligan Plant (NW 30 Road) Township road washed out — impassable.

• NW 10 Avenue and NW 30 Road – North McKinley, north of All-season Motor Home Park road – water over township road

• NW 50 Avenue and NW 10 Road – water across road

The list of closed roads in Barton County will be updated periodically at State road closures are available at

For more county information, contact the Barton County Administrator’s Office at 620-793-1800 and don’t call 911.

The declaration

“With such excessive rainfall, we realize that many may have need of recovery assistance. This declaration will help with that effort,” Colyer said. “At the same time, I encourage Kansans to reach out to your neighbors and those in your community who may have had difficulty weathering the storm and see if there is any help you can offer as well.”

Although the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has not yet received requests for assistance from any counties, the declaration will expedite the state’s response, authorizing state resources and manpower to assist local governments with their response and recovery operations. Counties will be added to the declaration as requests for assistance are received.

On Tuesday afternoon, Barton County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz and Emergency Management Director Amy Miller to signed a Declaration of a State of Local Disaster Emergency. The declaration stays in force for seven days, unless terminated or extended by the County Commission.

It reads in part “certain conditions caused, or eminently threaten to cause widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property in disaster proportion” and “such conditions created obstructions which endangered health, safety and welfare of persons and property within the border of Barton County, Kansas.” 

With the statewide decree in place and once Barton County proclamation is officially filed with the state, Barton County will be eligible for disaster relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency if the local damage is significant enough.