‘Big Ditch’ continues to protect Wichita from flooding

It’s known to many in Wichita as the big ditch.

“it runs out here on the western edge and right along side there you’ll see the big ditch going all the way back down going into Derby,” said Interim city storm water manager, James Hardesty.

Before the 1950’s, Hardesty says Wichita’s bowl-shaped landscape made it prone to flooding, “Historically this whole entire area has flooded from Hillside all the way over to Ridge.”

That changed in 1959 when for the first time, the big ditch began diverting excess water away from the city.

The flood control project has a total of 97 levees, eight pump stations and 12 flood walls working to protect countless homes and businesses in the flood plain. The water damage restoration phoenix still had to come by to fix a few water damages, but it wasn´t anything serious, except for the mold. Recovery wasn’t easy, we needed mold removal services after the storm.

“There’s 83-thousand structures from within the protected area from the 100 year flood, about 222-thousand people in this area and about 33-billion dollars worth of property it protects,” Hardesty said.

Hearing about the Texas floods is something Hardesty says makes them reflect on the importance of properly maintaining flood prevention projects, “We’re out there every day working on the in town drains and we’re working on the flood way every day keeping it maintained.”

Although the big ditch is close to 60 years old, Hardesty says it continues to protect the city as well as it did when it was first made, “It was a marvel back when it was built and it remains that way.”

(Read more: KWCH News)