Experts weigh in on why Topeka experienced heavy flooding

Local News

West Ridge Mall – Photo from KSNT’s Kelli Peltier

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – After heavy flooding occurred Thursday in Topeka, KSNT News heard from experts about why many residential streets flooded.

The city’s system to drain storm water can handle the same amount of rainfall that fell in Topeka Thursday, according to Topeka’s Deputy Director of Utilities Braxton Copley.

This level of rainfall has a 10% chance of happening each year.

“The starting point is to understand that it’s designed to do that,” Copley said. “So we designed to convey the ten in that enclosed system, knowing that if we exceed that it’s going to be conveyed in the street.”

Heavy rains overwhelmed the drainage system, resulting in flooded streets and houses.

“This is actually supposed to happen,” Copley said.

The water eventually will drain into the Kansas River, as it did shortly after.

Copley said officials called city workers to unclog debris from drains around the Topeka area, but the debris did not cause any major problems.

The city has plans to improve areas of the Shunga River, another spot in Topeka hit hard by heavy flooding on Thursday, Copley said.

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