The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued flood warnings for the Arkansas River and the Walnut River at Arkansas City from Sept. 9 until late Sept. 12 or Sept. 13.
The Arkansas River is projected to rise above flood stage by tonight and continue to rise to near 20.4 feet by Sept. 10. It will fall below flood stage by early Sept. 12. At 21 feet, preparations are made to close U.S. 166 west of Arkansas City and place stop-logs on West Madison Avenue at the levee.
The Walnut’s stage at 9:15 a.m. Sept. 9 was 6 feet. Flood stage is 18 feet. Minor flooding is forecast.
The Walnut River will rise above flood stage by Sept. 9 and continue to rise to near 21.8 feet by Sept. 10. It will fall below flood stage by early Sept. 12. At 20 feet, considerable flooding of farmland is expected. Widespread flooding of Walnut Park, which has been closed, is anticipated. East Chestnut Avenue east of the U.S. 77 bypass will be closed due to water over the roadway. Greens Farm Road floods from U.S. 166 north to Dunbar Hill and also is expected to be closed later today.
Additionally, there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms later this afternoon and tonight as a strong cold front pushes southeast through the area. Officials are expecting around 1 to 1.5 inches of rain with this front.
There also is a flood warning for the Walnut River at Winfield from this morning until Sept. 13. At 9:31 a.m. Sept. 9, the stage was 15.5 feet. Flood stage is 18 feet. Major flooding is forecast.
At 30.5 feet, flood waters will cover sections of U.S. 77 north of Winfield and the road under the U.S. 77 bridge south of town. Efforts already are under way to evacuate the early campers for the Walnut Valley Festival at the Winfield Fairgrounds.
For those who might be wondering about the sudden increase in water, several parts of south-central Kansas, including the Derby, Mulvane and Rose Hill areas, received as much as 9 inches of rain overnight. Both rivers’ basins are being affected.
This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.