Arkansas City officials warn residents of possible levee failure


ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials in Arkansas City are going door to door to warn residents of possible levee failure because of the constant saturation of soil.

The levee is currently working properly according to the city. 

“We always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” said Nick Hernandez, city manager. 

Press releases were handed out to homeowners as city officials, uniformed police officers and members of the Cowley County Emergency Response Team notified residents at risk in low-lying areas.

Officials focused mainly on neighborhoods located south of Madison Avenue and west of E Street. 

Hundreds of people in the area got their own look at how high the river is. 

“It’s not been very good, and it’s kind of stressful,” said Darlen Patterson, resident.

Patterson has lived in Ark City for nearly four decades. Her backyard is flooded, she has sandbags in place and is trying to take care of what she can in case the levee fails or more rain comes. 

“I have a lot of important papers ready and pictures and things like that that I need to save,” said Patterson. “Other than that, I can replace everything else.”

Other residents are happy to hear from officials about the flooding issues.

“We are actually very thankful that they’re doing that and actually paying attention to some of the complaints we’ve had,” said Bonnie Estell, resident.

Some of those complaints include flooded streets, yards and homes. 

Residents said this warning gives them a little piece of mind. 

“It’s relieved a lot of aniexty for everyone in the neighborhood,” said Estell. 

Stop-log deployment was anticipated, but officials said it will no longer be necessary as new projections show the Arkansas River is cresting lower than 20 feet at Arkansas City. 

Officials said no residents are in imminent danger at this time. 

Updates for the status of the levee and flooding in Arkansas City can be found on the City of Arkansas City Facebook page.

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