Kansas Turnpike Authority to tackle flooding risk
Wichita The Kansas Turnpike Authority has announced additional plans aimed at preventing flash flooding along a 2-mile stretch of the toll road where deaths have occurred.
The Turnpike Authority announced Tuesday that it will do more than originally planned to enhance safety on the road south of Emporia. Seven people have died in flash flooding there since 2003, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The design, intended to keep water off the roadway during what is known as a 100-year storm, is expected to be done in 2016. A 100-year storm is one with a 1 percent chance of happening in any year.
The Turnpike Authority also will install a stream monitor, expected to start operating around mid-September, at a location where a 21-year-old Texas man died in July when his car drove into floodwaters.
Two other places on the turnpike already have monitors, including one at mile marker 116 where six people died in 2003 after floodwaters swept their vehicles off the road.
The Turnpike Authority is spending an estimated $3 million to expand culverts, which carry water underneath the interstate, along a 20-mile stretch that includes where the flood deaths have occurred.
Six permanent signs also will be installed to alert motorists to the potential for flash flooding. Sixteen additional digital-messaging signs will be placed along the highway to alert motorists to hazards and weather warnings, including high winds and tornadoes.