NATOMA, Kan. (KSNW) – Natoma in southern Osborne County is a small town where neighbors help neighbors.
When flooding hit early Sunday, residents scrambled to help each other.
“The elderly didn’t have a chance,” said Jeremy Makings.
Makings rushed to help when he knew he couldn’t reach his wife’s grandmother.
“I couldn’t get there,” said Makings. “The younger people just barely got out with their vehicles starting to float. So, I stopped in town and got in a boat and started going house to house.”
Makings credits Josh Scott of Scott Services with rescuing multiple people with a front-end loader.
“It was heavy enough it wasn’t going to float,” said Makings. “That really saved the day because the water was too fast for the small boats and in a lot of places wasn’t deep enough for the big boats.”
The floodwaters focused on attacking the south end of town and reached downtown.
Ronda Beck Hitschmann lives on the south end.
“And just to see everything washing away, it was devastating,” said Hitschmann, who says a fence, four-wheelers and trucks were inundated or just washed away. “It was devastating, and we had no warning. It was just like my husband walked in and said Ronda we’re going to flood. He goes we gotta get our stuff and get out of here.”
GALLERY: Natoma flooding
Ronda will go stay with her daughter but will go back to the house to see the damages and then get to work.
“I’m very concerned. But what can I do? What can I do?” said Ronda. “I guess you just blink, and it’s there. That’s how it was.”
Makings also works with the local township outside of Natoma.
“I got done rescuing people, and I’m heading out to start closing roads so it will be a little bit,” said Makings. “Three miles, maybe up to 10 miles.”
So far, no reports of anyone injured from the flooding in and around Natoma.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a boil water advisory for Natoma public water supply system following the floods.
Also, flooding is affecting the U.S. 281 detour. U.S. 281 can not be accessed via K-18 at Luray. Also, eastbound U.S. 281 traffic cannot travel east of Luray due to flooding over the bridge construction shoo-fly.