HARTINGTON — Area residents’ fears of a dry June quickly disappeared this month.
Once the skies started to open up here in June, it seems the rain never stopped.
According to statistics from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, Hartington typically averages 4.37 inches of precipitation in June each year.
The area almost reached that mark on a single day this month.
As of Monday at midnight, the Hartington area had recorded a record 15.52 inches of rain for the month of June.
Several precipitation records have been set this year.
Prior to 2018, the wettest June ever recorded here was in 1967 when 11.06 inches of rain fell on the Hartington area.
Over an inch of rain fell here on three different days in June.
The wettest day of the month was Monday, when 4.05 inches of rain fell here, breaking the old record for that day of 2.85 inches of rain set in 1985.
Another record was set June 17, when 2.88 inches of rain fell here. The previous high water mark for that date was 2.65 in 2014.
To date, precipitation has been measured on 21 different days so far this month.
Other communities around the area received varying amounts of rain during Monday’s storm. Randolph recorded 3.75 inches of rain. Coleridge had 3.30 inches of rain. One of hardest hit areas of the county was between Belden and Randolph where rain gauges there recorded over five inches of rain. The Wynot area also had rainfall totals of nearly five inches.
All of the rain is putting a strain on area creeks and sanitary sewer systems. Several county and state roads had to be closed Monday as water washed over them.
Cedar County Commissioner Dave McGregor said the rain has taken a toll.
“We have some roads and box culverts currently under water,” he said Tuesday morning.
The Hartington area’s new flood control dam in the southwest portion of Hartington, completed in 2014, has also been put to the test this month.
The high hazard dam is built for a 500-year rain that amounts to eight-inches of rain in a 24-hour period, but it can withstand even higher amounts of rain to prevent the dam from collapsing under water pressure.
The system was designed so if the seven-foot water level vent can’t keep up with the water intake into the dam from above, a safety water vent is positioned at 10-feet, which will release more water through the system. It keeps the water from flowing over the overflow on the east side of the dam and also assures the dam will not break through under water pressure that a 10-12 inch rain could render.
“The entire flood control system is designed and built to hold and release water at a level that the downstream flow can handle without causing serious flooding,” said Dan Kathol, who was the Project Coordinator on the Water Quality and Flood Control project.