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Members of the Sedgwick County Commission voted against the possibility of a sales tax to pay for storm water management and flood control projects. The commission adopted its legislative agenda for the upcoming year only after the initiative for storm water funding was removed.

The initiative was based on a state statute that allowed counties to levy a sales tax of one-tenth of a percent without seeking approval from voters. The option to enact that law closed more than 25 years ago, but county staff recommended the commission try to amend it. 

The Wichita Fire Department is asking residents to avoid low-lying, flood-prone areas including the Arkansas River and area creeks for the next several days. Saturated soil, due to recent and forecasted rains, may make these areas more prone to flooding.

Local Emergency Services have responded to dozens of submersions calls as a result of recent rains. Representatives say many of those calls were preventable if residents had avoided water covered roadways or heeded warning signs.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster loans to several Kansas counties affected by severe storms and flooding earlier this month.

The low-interest federal loans will be available in Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley, Harper, Kingman, and Sumner counties. The SBA declared a disaster in those areas after heavy rains caused flooding in cities throughout southern Kansas.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Sedgwick County officials are doing damage assessment in areas hit hard by recent flooding.

The southern part of the county got the worst of the flooding. High waters swamped areas between Haysville and Derby, near Clearwater and in Mulvane.

Sedgwick County Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Pugh says most of the water has receded, and no rivers are at flood stage.

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Torrential rain is causing more flooding in southern Sedgwick County, including the city of Mulvane. This is the second time in less than three weeks that the town of about 7,000 has flooded.

The Styx Creek in downtown Mulvane left its banks early Friday following storms with heavy rain, and receded about four hours later. The National Weather Service Office in Wichita says the Arkansas River at Mulvane is also out of its banks and expected to reach a record level of 21 feet tonight.

Downtown Mulvane Facebook

Sedgwick County Commissioners have called for a state of emergency after a flash flood caused severe damage in the town of Mulvane last week.

The declaration makes Mulvane eligible for state and federal disaster assistance funding. This is the first time since the Oaklawn Tornado in 2012 that the county has had to declare a state of local disaster emergency.

Uncle Roy's Tavern / Facebook

The flash flood that filled downtown Mulvane last weekend caused more than $1 million in damage.

Mulvane City Administrator Kent Hixson says several feet of water from Styx Creek flooded the Main Street area following Friday’s heavy rain. At least 57 residential structures and about five commercial buildings were damaged.

Hixson says several inches of water flooded the city’s community room.

"That ruined the carpet and ruined some sheetrock, so we’re in the process of getting the carpet out and getting that dried out and getting that back in business," he says.

Mulvane Downtown / Facebook

Some residents in Mulvane are seeking assistance from the American Red Cross after flood waters rose quickly in the area over the weekend.

Dozens of residents have contacted the Red Cross at a service center in Mulvane. Executive director Michelle Jantz says people came into the center talking about how they didn’t expect the flood to move so rapidly.

"You know, they’re just talking about their homes, and the damage that they're seeing, and the personal belongings that are destroyed," she says.


Red Cross volunteers from the Wichita area are headed to Louisiana to help with flood relief efforts.

The American Red Cross office based in Wichita is sending at least five people to Baton Rouge to help with the recovery from recent floods. The volunteers will take an Emergency Response Vehicle to help with distributing food and disaster relief supplies.

Michelle Jantz, executive director of the Red Cross serving central and southeast Kansas, says the group could be working in Louisiana for at least two weeks.

U.S. Geological Survey

The Kansas Water Office is promoting Water Alert, a service that brings instant, customized updates about water conditions to Kansas residents.

The U.S. Geological Survey created Water Alert to give people timely information about river, lake and groundwater conditions. It's a nationwide service, but there are over a dozen data collection stations in the Wichita area alone.