Hoisington, KS Flood, Aug 1927

Six years later, on Friday, August 12, 1927, Mother Nature, unleashed another deluge. Beginning at 9 p.m., the rain fell in torrents, registering 3.27 inches in little over an hour. Whipped by a vicious northeast wind, the rainfall poured tons of water into Barton County streams and their tributaries. By early morning the Wet Walnut was out of its banks, as was Blood Creek.

Susank, Albert, Heizer and Hoisington suffered the worst of the flooding. By noon Saturday water was standing 4 feet deep in Heizer, 2 feet deep in Albert and South Hoisington had ceased to exist.

Cresting 5.8 feet deep at Great Bend, the Arkansas dumped two feet of water as far north as 12th, and completely isolated St. Rose Hospital in the west part of the city.

Hoisington was perhaps the hardest hit. $20,000 was the estimated damage in the business district alone. The Hoisington Dispatch offices, housed in the basement of the bank building, were submerged to a depth of seven feet, inundating the presses, the linotypes and saturating the entire supply of paper print. ROY CORNELIUS, the editor, estimated that $3,000 might cover the loss.

A call for help was issued by Hoisington police Saturday afternoon and Sheriff SAM HILL and a squad of deputies and volunteers drove to within four miles of South Hoisington in answer to the summons. Boats met them there and they floated the rest of the way into the city. Real “dry land” sailors.

Lake Barton had swollen bank full and flowing over the spillway at the north end. Both Dry and Wet Walnut Creeks were rampaging rivers with water standing two feet deep on the Green Bridge, four miles north of Great Bend.

Saturday night flood waters from the Walnut Creek, had reached the city limits, causing about 50 families to flee their homes. At midnight the overflow from the creek had reached beyond 17th on the west side of the city and 16th on the east side. Several homes in the lowlands between the city and the creek were last seen floating east with the tide.

By August 15, the river water had receded to a depth of 4 feet. With the steady decline, the flooded farmlands in Barton County shook loose their watery mantel and returned to life…

Great Bend Daily Tribune, Great Bend, KS 7 May 1961