City of Manhattan staff presented Wildcat Creek flood models and projections to city and county officials Thursday.
From these animated models, staff can see where flooding occurs, how severe it can get and where the water flows.
While city commissioner Linda Morse was supportive, she says they must also keep in mind the people who are impacted by other bodies of water.
“The only people really involved in this have been the Wildcat Creek public,” Morse said. “The Blue River public and Northview has not been involved at all. That’s why I wanted to be on this, because I wanted to see how it was going to work out.”
Chad Bunger, City of Manhattan assistant director of community development, says they have not forgotten about other parts of town, but first need to address the most threatened areas.
“Wildcat Creek is an area of town that is uncontrolled, so if it would’ve rained four or more inches two nights ago or whatever, we would have been in deep trouble there. Whereas if it would have rained four inches on the Blue River side, it’s probably not that big of a threat,” Bunger said.
The presentation was part of a Resilient Wildcat Creek Floodplain Management Plan update.
Some of the action steps included in the plan are notifying people before they move into flood-prone areas, formulating emergency-response plans and posting public warning signs.
Bunger says some steps have either already been taken or will be taken in the near future concerning public signage.
City commissioner Usha Reddi says early notification systems systems can help someone keep flooding in mind when looking for a new place to live.
“When people are looking for homes or apartments, flooding is not the first thing that comes to their minds, yet when it happens, they’re displaced really quick,” Reddi said. “It impacts both the young and senior citizens. When senior citizens get displaced, it’s much harder for them to relocate.”
According to Samantha Estabrook, City of Manhattan community development resiliency planner, community members and local officials have come up with about 30 action steps as part of the flood management plan update.
Officials will likely present these action steps to city and county commissioners in the coming weeks.
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