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Wild weekend weather puts a halt to 2020 South-central Kansas wheat harvest

Hannah Brown

Wild weather hit Kiowa, Pratt, and Stafford counties over the weekend, with enough to rain received to halt wheat harvest that had been going full speed. Some area crops were damaged in the onslaught of high winds, hails and horizontal rain, as were trees in several areas.

“I received some minimal hail damage from Saturday night’s storm,” said CJ McFadden, Kiowa County farmer.

Before the rain hit, McFadden and his brother Luke had completed 80% of their harvest, with just a few acres left to finish. After the weekend rain, the McFaddens said they hope to get back in the field by Wednesday or Thursday to finish off this year’s crop.

The National Weather Service in Dodge City recorded hail in western parts of the state on Sunday, but as the storms moved east, only rain and strong winds were reported.

Hudson recorded the highest rainfall in the area with 2.5 inches of rain on Sunday, according to Tabra Ward who works at the Hudson Cream Flour Mill.

Greensburg was next up with 1.58 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Macksville received 1.15 inches of rain and neighboring St. John had gusts of wind up to 59 miles an hour. Pratt experienced 1.05” inches of rain and heavy winds as well. East of Pratt near Cairo, Deb Goyen recorded an even 2 inches of rain.

Wind gust in the area in the Sunday-evening storm were enough to overturn a bumper-pull camper on U.S. Hwy. 54 near Cullison. Monday the camper was still overturned on the north side of the highway.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service in Dodge City, the highest wind gust of the storm event was 80 mph recorded 4 miles southwest of Dodge City. Near Preston, in Pratt County, 60 and 65 mph wind gusts were recorded, while St. John documented 59 mph 1 mile northwest of that town.