Swollen Arkansas River attracts people downtown

Posted: Updated:

While the swollen Arkansas River is attracting people to downtown Wichita, firefighters want to remind visitors of water safety.

"The river has crested from this last shot of rain, but it is still very dangerous. If you get in the river, you probably will get yourself in trouble," said Capt. Neko McBee with the Wichita Fire Department.

Firefighters at Station 4 are prepared for any water rescue emergencies. 

"I really hope that this boat doesn't even go out the door 'cause usually it's a bad deal if we do," he said.

He is reminding people to avoid getting too close to the Arkansas River, which has covered various sidewalks along the banks.

"People are are going to have to use their head. If you think it might be iffy, don't do it. Kansas doesn't get swift water enough for people to understand the power of it and what it's capable of. That's usually the people that get in trouble," said McBee.

He added, "You fall into this water, it's going to take you and go. Chances are they're going to  be calling us to find you and that's not going to  be a good ending."

The Wichita Riverfest is monitoring river flow rates as it gets closer to their opening day on May 31st.

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