We typically don’t publish press releases or typed up statements. But, as waters damage homes and property in Wichita, we figured we would pass along Mayor Carl Brewer’s statement ASAP. It was released at 4:45 p.m. today.
Here it is word-for-word:
Heavy rains across south-central Kansas have created a major crisis for residents and property owners in west Wichita. I want to assure our citizens that the City of Wichita is committing all available resources to assist residents affected by this flooding. We also are working in close cooperation with the Sedgwick County Emergency Management throughout this crisis period. Our most recent information indicates that the Dry Creek tributary in west Wichita has risen above flood level and is diverting water into the north fork of the Calfskin Creek. Those conditions are of grave concern because they mirror the situation that created the Halloween Flood of 1998. We are urging citizens in those affected areas to exercise extreme caution and alertness in anticipation of continued flooding.
The Wichita Fire Department and Sedgwick County Emergency Management are working to alert residents in the affected subdivisions. It is also extremely important that all citizens recognize the danger of flood waters in our city. We strongly discourage residents from wading or playing in flooded streets or ignoring barricades that are blocking flooded areas. Police and fire department responses to those kinds of activities only detract from their ability to deal with much more serious concerns raised by this crisis.
Other actions taken by the City of Wichita during the past 24 hours include: – Deploying 12 trucks loaded with sand and sand bags to selected areas. Citizens are welcome to fill sand bags and use them for flood protection.
– The Red Cross and Sedgwick County Emergency Management have made arrangements with the Metro East Baptist Church at West Douglas and McLean for use as an emergency shelter. Also, the City of Wichita is prepared to use its recreational centers and Century 2 as emergency shelters.
– The City and County will continue to monitor rainfall and stream flow and will continue on a high level of alert throughout this weather period.
– The Fire Department has called back to duty its off-duty water rescue team to assist the on-duty team.
In closing, I would urge all of our citizens to be aware of the dangers caused by these torrential rains. Challenging times require a united community that is willing to help its neighbors. Help where you can, but don’t contribute to the problem by traveling or playing in flooded area.