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Arkansas River in Wichita closed to recreational activities

Drone video shows high water levels in downtown Wichita

Drone video from the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers after recent rains have raised the levels of area rivers significantly.
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Drone video from the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers after recent rains have raised the levels of area rivers significantly.

The Arkansas River in Wichita will be closed to all recreational activities for a week as it fills will rainwater and roars through the city, the director of parks and recreation said.

The closure comes after record rains poured on the city Monday, followed by more rain Tuesday. As tributaries, streams and ditches flow into the river north and west of Wichita, the river has raised above normal levels. It is carrying more than 11 times the average amount of water for this time of year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

At Derby, the Arkansas River was causing minor flooding at noon on Wednesday. The river was at 12.62 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The flood stage is 12 feet.

Near Sedgwick, the river was 25.1 feet at noon, which is in the moderate flooding stage, the river gauge shows.

The river will be closed to swimming, boating, kayaking and canoeing until Oct. 17, Troy Troutman, director of parks and recreation in Wichita said.

“The river will be closed until the flow rate has lessened and the river’s banks are no longer overflowing,” Troutman said in a news release.

Waters from the Ninnescah River in Sumner County reached "major flood stage," but forecasts indicate that levels will stay below those seen in September of 2016.

A school bus is pulled out of high water on 13th Street between 119th Street West and 135th Street West on Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported.

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