Jet skier 'took nap, washed clothes' awaiting Reno County water rescue

(Taken at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday looking west up the Arkansas River from Frank Hart Bridge at Carey Park.)

RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Friday, October 13, 2018 - afternoon

Three jet skiers who went to rescue some farm animals caught in Reno County floodwaters say no one got stranded in the process.

They tell Eyewitness News two of them were able to bring back some of the animals, but one man stayed behind.

Once they reached the barricade, emergency crews told them they would be ticketed if they went back to get their friend and would have to wait for the water to recede.

The man didn't have a phone, so his friends say they had no way of reaching him.

The men say their friend went into a house, took a nap and washed his clothes until crews decided to go get him later that evening.

Reno County officials still stress that people should not go around barricades meant to protect the public from flooding.


Friday, October 13, 2018 - morning

Reno County Emergency Management says it completed two successful water rescues Thursday night that could've been prevented.

One of the rescues involved three men on jet skis who went around barricades and entered flood waters in an attempt to rescue farm animals.

Deputies made contact with two of the riders when they returned to their vehicle in the 3300 block of N. Pennington.

Search and rescue teams were deployed to find the third man after it was reported that his jet ski broke down and he was possibly stranded at an unknown location with no access to a phone.

Eventually, crews located the man and say he was okay.

"DO NOT drive around the barricades or enter the flood waters for any reason," said the emergency management in a release. "Not only are you risking your own safety, you are also risking the safety of our first responders."

So far, no injuries have been reported with any of the rescues.

Water in the levee

The emergency management says residents who live along the levee in Hutchinson or South Hutchinson will see water inside the levee.

They say this is a normal occurrence and the flap gates are closed.

"There are no problems; you can expect to see some designed under
seepage around the levee areas. This means you may see more standing water in your yards," said Reno County officials.

The under seepage may make its way into basements as well. Residents are encouraged to bring their valuables upstairs immediately and not wait for the water to come inside.

Monitoring water levels

Officials say the gauges on Cow Creek currently show water levels at 12.53 and falling. The National Weather Service is forecasting it to crest at 13.1 feet sometime this weekend.

Several roadways will remain closed through early next week as City Flood Control Personnel continue to monitor the levels on all creeks and rivers throughout Reno County.

Remember, turn around don't drown.