A woman takes pictures of Bleckley Avenue while a strong current of water flows down the street after heavy rains came through Wichita in 2015. Travis Heying File photo
A woman takes pictures of Bleckley Avenue while a strong current of water flows down the street after heavy rains came through Wichita in 2015. Travis Heying File photo

Kirk Seminoff's Pivot Point

Community engagement editor Kirk Seminoff blogs about news and issues in Wichita and Kansas.

Pivot Point

Help for Bleckley River, er, Drive

By Kirk Seminoff

kseminoff@wichitaeagle.com

October 05, 2017 10:50 AM

Wichitans who live or work along Bleckley Drive from Third Street to Kellogg have their favorite flood stories.

Parking a block from home to avoid a flooded vehicle. High-water marks halfway up the lawn. Then there was the time the Robinson Middle School staff was stranded at lunchtime during an inservice day because floodwaters kept them from their cars.

Help may be on the way, and not in boats. The city says Bleckley is atop a list of the flood areas with the biggest needs. So big that two phases of improvements would cost about $5 million each.

Ending flooding on Bleckley isn’t an easy fix. Runoff from College Hill neighborhoods on the west and Crown Heights neighborhoods on the east create an inescapable river during heavy rain. Creating a flood-free zone will take ingenuity, a lot of work — and waders.

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Kirk Seminoff: 316-268-6278, @kseminoff