The Cowskin Creek in west Wichita is widely known for the Halloween flood back in 1998.
“Oh, yeah that was terrible,” said one west Wichita resident. “We had sandbags stacked on top of each other, surrounding our entire house.”
That experience prompted the city of Wichita to spend $12 million to fix that problem.
“This was a project that removed a railroad tussle that was just south of Kellogg that tended to make the water back up into The Del,” said storm water manager, Jim Hardesty. “A large portion of the area is drained by the Cowskin and also the Calfskin.”
Problem solved but those that live in the area told KSN they still get nervous when the city gets large amounts of rain.
“This isn’t the worse we’ve seen, but it looks like it’s getting there really quickly,” said Chelsea Monett, who babysits in the neighborhood. “The fire department has been in this area and they said they are expecting about three to five feet.”
Monett recalled times that the water completely took over the backyard, pointing out the water levels were about halfway there.
“That creek has turned into a river,” she laughed.
Another neighbor in the same west Wichita neighborhood watched tree logs float in the water from the balcony of her home.
“Those yards are under water and across the creek is under water,” she said. “But since the city made its improvements, things have been much better in this area.”
This is good news for Hardesty, as he points to a map showing other parts of West Wichita that the city is working on.
“13th and 119th is another area prone to localized flooding,” said Hardesty. “We’ve removed low-water bridges in this area that have helped. There’s going to be a road project to widen 13th they’re working into their plans.”
Many residents in the area told KSN that the Wichita Fire Department has given them sand bags and advice on how to manage the weather this rainy season.