2 Parsons residents rescued from high water Thursday

Parsons Firefighters Cody Fought and Jared Stringer and EMS worker Jordan Thurman carry Cheryl Boston from her flooded car Thursday morning on a low-water crossing on 26000 Road.


Parsons firefighters and a Labette Health ambulance crew member rescued two Parsons residents who had driven into water over a road Thursday morning east of Walmart.

The rescue happened late morning on a low-water crossing on 26000 Road east of Pratt Road, which is east of Walmart.

Alan Ellis of Parsons was driving the car eastbound over the low-water crossing in what he said was about 4 inches of water. His mother, Cheryl Boston, was his passenger. When he got into the water, Ellis said the water level rose quickly and began moving the front of the car toward the south side of the low-water bridge.

Ellis said he stomped on the brake and activated the parking brake. He also turned the steering wheel to the north, all of which seemed to keep the tires from slipping further to the south. Boston called 911.

“We got as far as we did and all of a sudden all this water” came up around the car, Ellis said. The engine died.

“I just couldn’t move the car,” he said.

“I just told her to call 911 cause we were in trouble,” Ellis said.

Boston said she didn’t know where they were, so she handed the phone to her son.

“But that water was not that deep when we crossed,” she said.

“I was pretty worried,” Boston said.

The water got up to the door handles before rescuers arrived, they said.

Boston and Ellis said they were not injured but wet and upset. EMS personnel checked them out.

The Labette County Sheriff’s Department, the Neosho Township Fire Department, the Parsons Fire Department, the Labette Health Ambulance Service and the Parsons Police Department responded.

Rescue workers got Ellis out and Parsons Firefighters Cody Fought and Jared Stringer and EMS worker Jordan Thurman got Boston out and carried her to dry ground. Fought then connected a cable to the car, worked awkwardly to get the car in neutral, and Stringer used the winch on the fire rescue truck to pull the car out of the water. A wrecker removed the vehicle from the scene because it would not start.

Parsons received 4.68 inches of rain overnight in the storm system that also downed tree limbs across town. Westar Energy reported sporadic power outages in the Parsons area.

Storm spotters in Erie and Cherryvale reported hail as big as half-dollars or golf balls. Erie also had more than 5 inches of rain, which swelled the Neosho River again and its tributaries. State Street at Erie was closed at U.S. 59 for a time after the storm.

Winds were estimated at 60 mph in Labette County. High winds apparently peeled back the roof on a mobile home near Morehead as well.

Labette County crews were busy Thursday morning clearing limbs from county roads. Sandy Krider said limbs fell over 22000 and 23000 roads between Irving and Kiowa and on 12000 Road between Meade and Ottawa Road. Limbs were down on Pratt Road, she said.

The Labette County Courthouse in Oswego had some leaks in the appraiser’s office from the rain.

The Labette County Judicial Center in Parsons, which had its roof repaired recently, had leaks again in the same areas as before, mostly in the lobby/hallway area.

Three swimming pools and buckets were set out to catch the water and someone added rubber ducks this time. Windows in the court clerk’s office leaked as did a spot in the county attorney’s office. 

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