Reaction To A Flooded Arkansas River

By: Belinda Post
By: Belinda Post

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The Arkansas River is already two feet above flood level in downtown Wichita. The water hits the bank at about 14 feet and bike paths are completely underwater.

Still, some welcome what they call much needed rain.

"I wish it looked like this every day," said fisherman Ed McDaniel. "This is what the river is really supposed to look like."

McDaniel said he's been a farmer in Augusta since 1959, yet he's only been able to fish in the river once or twice since moving here. Monday he throws fishing net after net into the river and is pulling out quite a catch of small fish he plans to use as bait.

He has welcomed the rain and said he hopes Wichita gets more.

"Take care of my pasture. I've got big cracks in my yard. All my bait fish ponds are dried up," said McDaniel.

With Derby, Oxford, Arkansas City and Mulvane all under flood warnings, some are concerned with Arkansas River levels.

People like Max Romero said they prefer the water to not cover the sidewalk.

"Obviously there is a concern," said Romero. "They said to watch this area. I thought I'd take my kid down here to take some pictures."

In that area, the river is 12 feet higher than it was this time last year.

Since last year was a drought year, McDaniel saw the high-water level as a sign to rejoice.

"I love it man. I'm telling ya', we would've been in real trouble had we not got rain this year. We would've been in real trouble," said McDaniel.

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