The Future of Indian Creek

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Indian Creek at 103rd & Wornall flooded for a second time in three weeks. Photo by Bill Rankin 

Indian Creek Future

By Brad Lucht

Matt Bond and James Walton of the Kansas City Water Department spoke to residents at the August 11th  2nd Friday event at the Trailside Center about the Indian Creek flooding along 103rd Street.  Millions of dollars worth of damage and scores of jobs were lost.

Bond said a $100K flood study would be conducted at the beginning of the year, but that modeling the flow of water is not a quick or simple process.

In all likelihood, three options exist to address the problem.

  1. A major channelization might be undertaken.  A 1997 study estimated that this would cost $30M.  At that time Indian Creek was not considered a priority.
  2. A flood proofing effort could take place to protect the properties along the banks of Indian Creek.
  3. The government may purchase the property and remove it from commercial development.

“One the federal side, the cost/benefit ratio is not there [for rechanneling],” Bond said.  “A buyout or flood proofing is most likely,” he concluded.

Thanks to recent passage of flood control General Obligation bonds, $150M is now available for flood control work.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $48M in matching funds to help stretch these local tax dollars.  The first projects to benefit from these funds include the Dodson levee near the Bannister complex and the final phase of the Turkey Creek project, which protects the Southwest Boulevard area.

Bond asked that residents of South Kansas City show patience, as it took 30 years before money became available to resolve flooding issues associated with Brush Creek.

While acknowledging this was the sixth such flood in the past 40 years, Walton told the crowd that this was considered a “50-year” flood event, in that, statistically speaking, such rain would only occur once every 50 years.  

2nd Fridays are sponsored by 6th District Councilmen Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus and are held at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes.  The meetings begin at 7:30 a.m.

 

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