In Wichita, storm drain clearing is a challenge. That’s because when it rains, residents will tell you that not only does it pour, it usually leads to flooding in various parts of the city. The frequency and locations are so consistent that the city’s interim storm water division manager identified five of the worst flooding areas in Wichita in May 2016.
The problem is partly to do with the volume of rain and that the city sits on mostly flat terrain. The other part of the problem is the outdated sewer and drain infrastructure that lives below the surface of roads and neighborhoods in the Wichita area. For the record, here they are:
Locals have nicknamed the area Lake Bleckley as a result of the tendency it has to flooding after any kind of rain activity. There are even signs posted in the surrounding neighborhood that state “Turn around…don’t drown.” When it floods here, it’s not just pooling water either. The water level will go above the sidewalk grade and has a current that makes walking difficult.
Intersection at Meridian and Maple
Notorious for flooding even after a moderate rain, the water pools deep enough here to make driving difficult to the point where it is best to just avoid the area. Businesses located on the street say debris collects and clogs drains that are not big enough to take away the storm water.
Intersection at Meridian and Harry
In early 2016 the City of Wichita started working on improvements to the drainage further down Meridian. Store owners in this section of the street claim flooding has occurred for decades with water deep enough to stall vehicles.
Adding to the rain in the downtown core is that this is where some of the oldest buildings in the city are located. Because of their age, their plumbing and sewer infrastructure is also old. This has slowed down development as newer structures added to the old system would result in flooding of a different kind. Usually it is in the form of backups into new apartments as their drainage systems were being fed into smaller and older municipal systems that could not handle the volume. Many old pipes in the downtown core have broken or collapsed as a result.
As the undisputed oldest neighborhood in Wichita do we need to explain storm drain clearing any further here? Suffice to say that the infrastructure in most of this area is as old as the buildings it services. Flooding is normal and described as “a river” frequently.
Even if your home or business is not located in one of these flood prone areas in Wichita, you should have your plumbing reviewed. Smith Plumbing will examine the condition of your pipes and storm drains on your property. By using trenchless technology they will be able to see inside your pipes with a camera with little disturbance to your yard or property. To book your appointment call (785) 485-2431 or email Smith Plumbing today.