Little Arkansas passes flood stage, moderate flooding expected

A flooded Riverside Park in Halstead.

Updated 12:57 p.m. 

The county has released a list of roads affected by flooding. Here’s the list. The story on the flooding is below the list.
6000 block of SW 60th St.
7200 block of SW 72nd St.
Fourth St. from Emma Creek to Ridge roads
W. First St. at Emma Creek Rd.
SW 96th St. and S. Emma Creek Rd.
SW 125th St. and S. Emma Creek Rd.
Ridge Road from 125th to Fourth streets

7200 block of SW 36th St.
S. Emma Creek Rd., from SW 36th to SW 48th streets
SW 48th St. and S. Hertzler Rd.
12400 block of W. First St.

SW 36th St. and S. River Park Rd.
W. Dutch Ave. and N. Burmac Rd.

1000 block of N. Mission Rd.
5600 block of NW 48th St.
8700 block of S. Kansas Rd.
SW 24th St. and S. Meridian Ave.

N. Hoover Rd. and Dutch Ave.
W. Dutch Ave. and N. Essex Heights Rd.
7600 to 10000 blocks of W. Dutch Ave.


By Jared Janzen, Adam Strunk

The Little Arkansas is at flood stage throughout Harvey County.

Rains continued to fall throughout the county Monday night inundating local ditches and creeks, blocking roads and filling the already swollen Little Arkansas River.

By 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Little Arkansas had risen past flood stage at monitoring stations near Alta Mills, Halstead and Sedgwick. The Emma Creek was inches away from reaching flood stage.

The National Weather Service projects moderate flooding along the river. The Little Arkansas River near Halstead is projected to crest at 28.5 feet, 3.5 feet above flood stage late Wednesday night or Early Thursday morning. By Alta Mills and Sedgwick the river is expected to crest Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday morning the Little Arkansas River had breached its banks at Riverside Park in Halstead, and the drive through the park was closed to traffic. That didn’t stop curious residents from pulling off the Herztler Road to take a closer look at the river.
The National Weather Service website charts the river’s depth at 25.26 at Highway 50 near Halstead.
In Sedgwick, school was canceled Tuesday due to Fourth Street near the school being flooded. Madison between First and Fourth was also covered in water.
Sedgwick City Administrator Ed Patton said the fire department and volunteers spent the morning filling sandbags to have ready if needed.
“We’re probably going to wind up having to sandbag some areas off,” Patton said.
He added that Ridge Road to the north was impassable at that time. Ridge Road to the south of Sedgwick was still open.
Patton said the city was also keeping an eye on Jester Creek and Anderson. The flood stage is 25.88 feet, and the latest report said water was up to 23.14 feet. Sedgwick had an extra police officer on duty Tuesday morning, and maintenance crews were out and about making sure water flowed without obstruction.

A reporter from the Harvey County Independent noted that flood waters made roads unpassable between Halstead and Sedgwick.

The flood gates remain open in Halstead though floodwaters are forecasted to pass 27.2 feet, the level the gates are closed by Tuesday night. A reporter has made a call to the city’s fire chief about flood plans, as the city administrator is out of town.
Harvey County dispatch reported widespread localized flooding, though said the county’s public information officer Kyle McCaskey was handling reports of the flooding. McCaskey said the county was working on compiling a list of closings.

Until more specific information is available, just drive careful in the county and avoid any sort of standing or flowing water you see across a road.
In the city of Newton, some residential areas of localized flooding exist but the ditches and drainage systems appear to be keeping up.

Public Information Officer Erin McDaniel said that the city was not dealing with any specific problems as of 9:47 a.m.

Newton Fire/EMS Chief Scott Metzler said they’d worked a few water related accidents of cars leaving the road and going into the ditch. He said the department was formulating contingency plans incase Halstead closes its flood gates. He said that sounded likely. In that case, Newton Fire/EMS would pick up some of the service requests in the area.

On the North Newton front, its drainage system is holding up and the city’s staff do not anticipate a $25,000 fee from Hesston for exceeding their water pumping limit.
“We have another rain coming but we’re confident we’re going to be able to pump what we got,” City Administrator John Torline said.

A few years ago, the city of North Newton built a pipe to Hesston in order to handle its waste water after transferring the service away from the city of Newton.

As part of the agreement, Hesston has limited North Newton to a maximum amount of water it can pump to Hesston at a time, around 440 gallons per minute. Should the city exceed the amount Hesston will charge North Newton $25,000 for the occurrence as part of the contract.

Torline said the city has only had to use two of its three sewage pumps during the rain event and pumping rates so far had only reached 380 gallons per minute during a peak time.

“The issue is that the biggest immediate problem is a huge rain in short term,” he said. “ We’ve seen some surges.”

Rains are expected to continue through Tuesday.