Be prepared for severe flooding

Local

As severe weather season gets closer, KSN wants to make sure you and your family are prepared.

Flooding is the number one killer of all severe weather events, according to The National Weather Service.

Kansas hasn’t received a lot of rain in the past year, but back in 2016, the Derby-Mulvane area saw two 500-year flooding events within the same month.

Sedgwick County emergency management officials said it’s possible for the county to see another severe flooding event.

As you and your family prepare, it’s important to know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning.

A flood watch means to be prepared. This is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.

A flood warning means to take actions. This is issued when there is an imminent threat to your safety.

Once an area is under a flood warning, here are tips to follow:

  • Stay informed by checking the local news and social media
  • Get to higher ground
  • Evacuate when told
  • Don’t walk or drive through flooded waters.

Sedgwick County emergency manager Cody Charvat explained it only takes six inches of rushing water to knock down an adult and two feet of water to carry away a car.

“This is Kansas. You just go one mile or less in any direction, you’re going to find another road going the same way you want to go and it’s not going to be underwater,” Charvat said.

While you and your family prepare for a flooding event, the county also does its part.

“We’ve got monitored flood gauges on the Big Arkansas River in a couple places down by Derby and Mulvane,” said Charvat. “We’ve got a monitored gauge by the Little Arkansas River near Sedgwick.”

The county also has flood gauges at Cowskin Creek and the Ninnescah River.

When the county knows there will be an extended period of rain in the area, they have employees constantly monitoring areas known to flood.

“If we see certain areas that are starting to develop into trouble spots, we can move endangered resources out of that area,” said Charvat. “We can move the right kind of resources into that area.”

For more information about flood safety, visit the NWS website.

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