Governor issues disaster declaration for Kansas flooding

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(KAKE) -

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has signed a disaster declaration due to flooding in a number of counties.

"With such excessive rainfall, we realize that many may have need of recovery assistance. This declaration will help with that effort," said Colyer. "At the same time, I encourage Kansans to reach out to your neighbors and those in your community who may have had difficulty weathering the storm and see if there is any help you can offer as well."

 As of Wednesday, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management says it has not yet received requests for assistance from any counties, but the emergency declaration will speed the state's response if local governments need help with response and recovery operations.

Many roads are closed as rivers and creeks overflow their banks across the state.

The Arkansas River in Wichita is closed to all recreational activities for a week after the rains brought more than 11 times the average amount of water to the river for this time of year.

Sedgwick residents dealing with flooded streets

Halstead monitors rising water levels

Reno County residents brace for worst flooding in a decade

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Flooding is a big concern in Sumner County.

The Kansas Department of Transportation shut down K-55, from downtown Belle Plaine to Highway 81, Wednesday morning. Drivers were able to go through the 2.7-mile stretch of road at 7 a.m., Yet, as the morning progressed, more water covered lanes in both directions.

In addition to K-55 closing, the Belle Plaine Police Department said Oliver was closed south of town.

“It wont be long before it comes over the entire road and the road will closed,” the police department shared around 9 a.m. Wednesday. “Be careful and do not go around the barricades once they are up. Not worth the risk!”

Residents like Shelley Ables said she’s seen significant flooding a few times in the past 10 years. In the most recent flood, water from the Ninnescah River went all the way up to her driveaway, which is on a hill.

“Two years ago, it got up to right about here and a few years before that, it didn’t quite get that high,” Ables said. “You We’re just afraid it would get into the house. We’re up high enough and we’re ok, but hopefully it kind of stays low this time. It’s kind of unnerving to think you’re stuck.”

In times past, water had covered the road in both directions. Ables said her family will manage to get by, even if they have to wait for the water to recede.

KAKE's Annette Lawless reported updates on Good Morning Kansas. Continue to follow Lily Wu for the latest on KAKE News today.

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