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.