Father, Son Dead In Kansas Flooding

Wednesday, August 15th 2018, 9:32 am
By: News On 6

A father and son are dead after flooding near Elk City, Kansas. The bodies were found inside a car on a road just northwest of the reservoir, according to Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson.

Whitson said the father and son were found in their car with the windows still up. They have been identified as Dennis Clark Catron Sr., 72, and Dennis Clark Catron Jr., 39, of rural Elk City.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said their car was swept off the road in heavy rainfall on CR 2950 south of CR 5400.

Sheriff Robert Dierks said the father was driving his son from Elk City to his job at the Independence Walmart when fast-moving waters swept the car off the road.

"Apparently what happened, they hit the high water, the vehicle probably stalled. It was found in park with the engine shut off and, we believe, high water came and just swept the vehicle off in a high ditch," Dierks said.

Officers got a call around midnight from someone who had spotted the truck in high water. All the caller could see was the tailgate with the tail lights shining.

Crews were looking for a third person in Independence, Kansas. They found a truck on its side in a ditch at CR 4500 and CR 5000 with the windows rolled down, but the person wasn't inside.

News On 6 has learned the man is alive. The sheriff's office said he walked away from the truck and lost his cell phone. He has been located Wednesday morning.

Heavy rains late Tuesday and early Wednesday north of the Oklahoma-Kansas state line closed roads, stranded cars, led to evacuations - and led to the flooding deaths.

The emergency manager said Elk City received 11.5 inches of rain. Firefighters responded to 40 to 50 water rescues in Independence, emergency management reports.

They also responded to a structure fire that may have been caused by lightning.

8/15/2018 Related Story: Evacuations In Montgomery County, Kansas Due To Flooding

The National Weather Service reports the Verdigris River in Independence, Kansas has crested at 31.6 feet which is considered minor flooding, but they expect it to go down significantly in the next 24 hours.

The radar shows that Independence had 7 to 8 inches of rain overnight and up to 12 inches just northwest of town. Montgomery County is still under flood warnings.

There are also reports of a tornado in the Elk City area. Anyone who has footage of the funnel cloud is asked to email it to rwhitson@mgcountyks.org.