Category Archives: Flooding

What’s the Council up to next? Lots of ceremony

Here’s what Tuesday’s City Council meeting looks like: Pray, Pledge of Allegiance and then ceremony (swear in the new mayor), ceremony (swear in a new council member), ceremony (tribute to Bob Martz). Oh, and once the new Council lineup is in place, they’ll dive into several issues.

Here are the hottest items:

  • Pick a new vice-mayor to replace Paul Gray, who is finishing his one-year term. (See procedure here.)
  • Vote to sign an agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers to do a massive, $4.5 million flood protection project on the Cowskin Creek that will essentially cut a 300-foot wide overflow shelf into the shoreline. City drainage engineers say it could reduce flooding by more than a foot in some residential areas during the type of downpour that comes about once every 100 years. (See previous Eagle story.)
  • Consider a $45,000 contract for drug and alcohol testing of transportation, police and fire employees. That kicks in some new random tests agreed the unions agreed to about a year ago, and it comes at a time when both the police and fire unions’ men and women are working under an expired contract.
  • Decide whether to OK a $67,225 remodel of the planning department’s meeting room that includes audio/visual components.
  • Rename Harvest Park, 9500 Provincial Lane, as “Bob Martz Park” in honor of former District 5 City Council member Bob Martz, who died of an apparent heart attack in January.
  • Vote to rezone an oddly shaped swath of land near McConnell Air Force Base to “Air Force Base District” as part of the city’s massive rezoning around the base to show military officials who may be preparing the next round of base closures McConnell is prepared for future expansion and has terrorism safeguards.

See the full agenda.

A flood of new maps for westsiders

Thousands of Wichita homeowners will have to consider flood insurance soon now that new FEMA flood maps have been validated. But it could be short lived.

In November, the city poured $600,000 into having a Kansas City consultant take an even closer look than the Army Corps of Engineers did.

The Council will discuss the new maps next week. For a peak, follow the “Read more” link to see the city’s news release on the maps.

New FEMA Flood Maps Could Affect Thousands of County Residents, Change Insurance Needs!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed revised, detailed, flood hazard maps after conducting a multi-year project to re-examine flood zones throughout Sedgwick County. The new maps will be revealed at a 10:30 a.m. news conference Monday in the Wichita City Manager’s Office on the 13th Floor at City Hall, 455 N. Main.

Media are encouraged to attend the news conference, which will include Director of Planning John Schlegel who will unveil the new maps, discuss their significance and take questions.

“The maps reflect current flood risks and will replace maps that are up to 20 years old,” Schlegel said.

Flood hazard maps are important tools used in the effort to protect lives and properties. By showing flooding risks, the flood maps help residents and business owners make more informed decisions about protecting people and property. These maps also help community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others determine where and how new structures and developments should be built.

The City of Wichita has approximately 1,400 properties that will be in the 100-year floodplain for the first time. Sedgwick County has approximately 12,850 properties in the 100-year floodplain for the first time. The unincorporated areas of Sedgwick County have approximately 337 properties in the 100-year floodplain for the first time.

A 100-year flood event means there is a 1% chance of flooding any given year. Over the life of a 30-year loan, statistics show that a home within the 100-year floodplain has three times greater risk of flooding than risk of fire; most homeowner insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage due to flooding.

If your property has a structure(s) that falls within the Special Flood Hazard Area (the 100-year floodplain) your property is at risk of flooding. Purchasing flood insurance, for both the structure and its contents, is highly recommended.