Derby improvements have city ready for next round of flooding

By  | 

DERBY, Kan. Record rainfall last summer flooded Derby streets, parks, and people's basements. It had the city making changes to improve drainage throughout the city.

Possible flooding will be impacting our area Friday, and the city says it's now more prepared to handle any heavy rainfall.

Southcrest Drive in Derby was one of the flooded areas last year.

"There was water probably two feet deep on the street here," said Kevin Kaiser, who lives on Southcrest.

Another neighbor in the area, Mindi Pascual, had her backyard and basement fill up with water from the heavy rains.

"The water was like waist high and it was torrential downpour," Pascual said.

She shared video with Eyewitness News that shows the floodwater knocking down the fence in the backyard, something that still needs to be replaced.

"There goes the fence! Oh my God!" she says in the video.

Several fields drain into a lowpoint that sits between Pascual and Kaiser's backyards. Since last year, Derby has installed a retention pond and made other improvements.

"Southcrest had the drainage ditch improved, dug down deeper, and a concrete bottom put in it to help reduce erosion," said Michael Wilson, Derby's stormwater manager.

The city has improved other areas too. The new Central Park at Madison Avenue now has a wide floodplain.

"We used to live right there so it used to get super flooded down here. I think that will be a huge help. A huge help," said Misty Brown, who lives in Derby.

During last year's heavy rains, Madison Avenue flooded and had to be shut down, but now water will fill up the park first.

"It looks like landscaping that just makes it pretty. It was very clever of them to incorporate that," said Patricea Smith, who is originally from Derby.

High Park is also designed to do that and flooded several times last summer.

Derby says it's more prepared to handle flooding.

"The amount of work we've done has been a great improvement," Wilson said.

Neighbors think the changes are for the better.

"It's bound to all help really," Kaiser said.

But some are waiting for mother nature to put it all to the test

"I'm glad that it's there, but I'm a little skeptical on how it's going to work because it hasn't rained like it did when it took out our fence yet," Pascual said. "We'll see, I'll be waiting."

Other work Derby has done to make everything drain better includes
concrete laid along some ditches to prevent erosion.

Crews are making sure Spring Creek is clear of log jams to keep the water keeps flowing when rain gets heavy.