May 28—Torrential rain from a steady storm system Thursday caused flash flooding throughout the city and the area, and more was on the way as of early Thursday night.
"Any additional rain we get tonight will also run off and cause floods," said Keith Stammer, emergency management director for the city of Joplin and Jasper County. "There is no ground to soak because it is already soaked."
Tom Olsen, of the Springfield branch of the National Weather Service, said the area could have received anywhere from 4 to 5 inches of rain throughout the afternoon, according to radar estimates. Stammer said he received 3.68 inches at his property in northwest Joplin.
As of about 7 p.m., 2.99 inches of rain had been recorded at the Joplin Regional Airport, according to the NWS.
About half of that amount was recorded between 11 a.m. and noon.
Olsen said repeated rainfall systems swept over the area during the day.
"We saw training, where storms kept going over the same areas," Olsen said. "It was a pretty significant amount of rain."
The rain caused flooding problems throughout the city as rescue personnel responded to several reports.
Stammer said most of the calls involved cars that had stalled out in high water and a few that were swept into ditches. No injuries were reported.
The Joplin Police Department discouraged unnecessary travel Thursday afternoon because some streets were not passable, either because of flooding or debris, or a combination of both.
Many of the same spots that were flooded Thursday were expected to be flooded again with more rainfall, Stammer said, including:
—20th and Range Line streets.
—Fourth and Turk streets, just west of Range Line Road.
—15th Street from Murphy Boulevard to Florida Avenue.
—Murphy Boulevard from Fourth Street to Main Street.
—32nd Street and McClelland Boulevard.
—A low-water bridge on Murphy Boulevard just west of North Main Street.
Emergency management directors in Newton and McDonald counties reported no significant flooding or damage from the storms as of Thursday afternoon.