Arkansas River closed to recreational activities in Wichita


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s fast and dangerous. That’s how the Arkansas River is being described.

“This is too fast. It is too high. There are dangers involved,” says Vincent Marhsall with the Ark River Coalition. “This is very fast water. It is going maybe six to nine mph. It’s raw power.

“People do not realize how powerful that water is,” says Deputy Chief Stu Bevis of the Wichita Fire Department. “People think they can swim up against that. No, that is one big mass of energy and power that is going to hold you up against something.”

Bevis’s advice stay out of the Arkansas River. He believes it is moving twice the speed it usually does.

“Somebody might jump into the river, and if you immediately get up against something, like a submerged log, you may be pinned and can’t even come back up,” Bevis explains.

Marshall with the Arkansas River Coalition and Barbara McGuire with Wichita Park and Recreation both had plans for groups to be on the river this week. That changed quickly.

“I just not would not chance it,” says Marshall.

“It is that thing where we have to know our limitations, and I tell you I would not be getting our there,” says Bevis.

The city has closed the Arkansas River until the waters calm down. Bevis says it’s the kind of waters that pack a serious, dangerous, punch.

“It is a trained fighter that is going to take somebody out,” Bevis says.

The city is providing updates on the status of the river on the city’s website.

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