Weekend flooding causes severe water damage

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It may be dry in College Hill but parts of the neighborhood streets were submerged with rain late Saturday night, into early Sunday morning. The after effect of all that rain left some local mechanics working to salvage damaged cars.

“We’re starting to get a lot of calls in, we’ve had three or four this morning already,” said Aaron Wosylus, a manager at Tracy Automotive.

It’s been a busy Monday morning for Aaron who says anytime there’s street flooding in Wichita, the calls to the shop double.

“The main issue when you drive through water is, it sucks it up in the intake,” explains Aaron. “These new cars are low to the ground so, it’s very easy for high waters to effect the mechanics.

He says the newer cars are more prone to quicker water damage because of the way they are built, but often times, it’s the older cars that are damaged beyond repair.

“Think of a snorkel tube. When you’re swimming and you get water down in there, you choke and feel terrible,” said Aaron. “That’s what your engines doing basically.”

He says once the water gets into the engine, it quickly hits the electrical connections, which can cost you anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 to fix. If you’ve driven over a large puddle and your car starts giving you issues or if your car is submerged in water, mechanics suggest that you do not try to restart your car. The first steps after contacting your insurance should be speaking with a mechanic about what to do next.

Many residents who saw damage over the weekend left their cars parked in the street, but the rising water still did a good amount of damage. The city says most residential areas have drains to help push water from the streets but the drains can’t always keep up with Mother Nature.

“I think it’s a reflection of our geography in Kansas,” said Jim Hardesty, an interim manager for the City Public Works Department.

The city had crews out over the weekend, to try clear out the storm drains in addition to their everyday work.

“We have four crews everyday that are out there cleaning those structures,” said Jim. “We don’t do it in anticipation of rain, we do it everyday.”

The city says they are always on call for heavy rains like the ones we had the last weekend so they can send out additional crews to clear the drains when needed.


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