Two record-setting rainstorms on Monday, September 12th, 1977, inundated the Kansas City Metropolitan area with more than 16 inches of rain. The first rainstorm of very early Monday morning thoroughly soaked the local drainage basins and set the stage for the second devastating rainstorm Monday evening.
The resulting flash flood killed 25 people, 17 of those were in automobiles. This flood caused property losses estimated at $90 million ($357 million today) in both the private and public sectors.
The Country Club Plaza area was hardest hit. 2000 vehicles had to be towed following the storm, 150 of which had to be pulled out of Brush Creek, which runs through the Plaza area. The official rainfall total is the all time high for Kansas City, although there have been many instances (including Sept 12 1977) where higher amounts have been recorded at locations within the Greater Kansas City area.
There was timely issuance of a flash-flood watch about 10 hours before the Monday evening rainfall. A special weather statement containing strong assertive language was released to attest to the urgency of the situation even though exact rainfall information was unavailable at the time.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Header Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers