City of Wichita discusses water drainage issues

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Wichita Public Works and Utilities met for a news briefing Wednesday morning at the city building to discuss water drainage issues around the city of Wichita.

Rain has caused standing water on streets around the city due to recent storms. One resident near some flooding is upset because half his backyard is under water.

"I don't know what to tell you, but this is nuts," said Frank Dixon. "Now I'm going to have to build up just to get the water to flow to the street."

In the news briefing Alan King, of Wichita Public Works said they are sending crews around the city Wednesday to fix what he called "nuisance flooding." He said these are easy areas where they can unclog storm drains.

These workers take a big vacuum pipe off of their trucks and use it to suck up mud, leaves and trash out of the drains. One employee said this morning was hectic since it rained overnight and into Wednesday morning.

"We've been having a few, I had like at least five, six calls already," said Miguel Rivas, a Wichita Public Work and Utilities equipment operator.

However, King also named some "high risk areas" like Bleckley Drive near the Veteran's administration between Central and Kellogg Avenues.

He said this is a spot the city is working to fix since there is so many problems there, but they haven't had the funding to do so. So, that's what they're looking to get for the $36 million project.

"There's funds that will be coming out of the storm water enterprise fund and probably other funding sources," said King.

He said other funds that have come in include the $1.50 per customer increase to storm water fees on residents sewage and water bills.

As for Dixon, he said him and his neighbors have dealt with the flooding in his backyard for a couple of years now.

"He has the same problem, he has the same problem," said Dixon. "I mean it keeps going and going and going. He built his up to keep it on this side, they built theirs up so now we keep it in the middle."

He said the flooding goes all the way down his street on Richmond Avenue to 31st Street. He asked the city for help, but they said no because it's a homeowner issue.

"There's a manhole right there in that guys backyard and they won't open it up and let it drain in," he said.

He said hasn't completely figured out what he is going to do yet to drain his yard, but he said he has some ideas.

"I'm going to have to build it up and hope it drains to the main drain," he said. "Unless I bury a sub pump in the middle of it and pump it out to the street."

The roads next to his house were being worked on by Wichita Public Work and Utilities employees, but he said those are still bad as well because the streets are sloped toward the curbs.

"There's no drainage," he said. "If there was drainage, it would flow like that leaf with the wind. It's not, it's staying still. These roads need to be fixed."

He said he hasn't had any structural damage to his home, but he said it happens every time it rains so he wants to get the yard drained before it's damaged.

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