An Update on Flood Control Measures in Sedgwick County
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Since noon Wednesday, May 29, the gates at Cheney Lake have been open three feet. The gates had been completely opened (7.5 feet) since Wednesday, May 22. Outflow from the lake peaked at 4,300 cubic feet per second (cfs). The current release from the lake has dropped to 1,566 cfs, which will allow the Ninnescah River to return to flowing within its banks. The release will continue at this rate for an undetermined amount of time as the Army Corps of Engineers continues to draw down the lake level to a point where it again can store any future rainfall in the flood control pool.
Additionally, the M.S. Mitch Mitchell Floodway (the Big Ditch) has helped prevent flooding in Sedgwick County. Completed in 1959, it spans 18 miles long with 50 miles of connecting channels, contains 100 miles of levees and 150 control structures.
County officials stress that the floodway is not at capacity and will be able to continue taking on any additional precipitation. All pump stations that pump water into it are working properly.