OSAWATOMIE – The county’s water rescue team was called out at the crack of dawn Friday, Aug. 2, to investigate a partially submerged Toyota sedan in the flooded intersection at 327th Street and Pressonville Road northwest of Osawatomie.
The water rescue team, which operates out of the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department, conducted a search and found the vehicle was unoccupied.
Dispatch ran the license plate number and the owner was contacted, Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said.
"They were OK. They had just abandoned the vehicle in the water,” Love said.
The call came in at 6:19 a.m. in the predawn light.
“When we got there it was barely dawn,” Love said. “I think the driver probably couldn’t see there was water across the road because it would have still been dark and there weren’t any barriers up yet (to alert motorists).”
The rescue team was called out a second time to the same location about 9:40 a.m. Friday, Love said.
The motorist had started to drive through the water and thought better of it, Love said.
“The driver decided to turnaround but the car died,” he said. “The car was right at the edge of the water.”
Love said the driver was still in the vehicle when the rescue team arrived.
There were no injuries in either incident, Love said.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning reported the following closures due to water across roadways:
- 347th Street east of U.S. Highway 169 at Osawatomie.
- 327th Street and Pressonville Road.
- 335th Street and Pressonville Road.
- 335th Street and Pleasant Valley Road.
The Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department also reported on its Facebook page that water was across Plum Creek Road, between the Eighth Street bridge and 335th Street, near Osawatomie where the Marais des Cygnes River continued to rise throughout the day Friday.
Motorists should note that other roadways in low-lying areas prone to flooding could also be closed now or in the coming hours.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported about 3:30 p.m. Friday that the river had risen to 35.4 feet at Osawatomie. Flood stage is 28 feet. The river was forecast to crest around 36 feet early Saturday morning, which historically would be short of the level needed to close the community’s floodgates.
If the forecast holds, the river would crest at almost the exact level it did three months ago on May 2 when it reached 36.33 feet. Numerous roads in the area were closed during that spring flood.
Friday's river forecast was subject to change if heavy rainfall should occur in Osawatomie or upriver.
Upriver Friday, Ottawa residents were still dealing with flooding along the north side of the Marais des Cygnes. The community received about 10 inches of rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. Photographs from the community on Thursday, Aug. 1, showed floodwaters had closed several streets and entered some businesses. Numerous vehicles were left abandoned in the water.