The mission of the Flood Control work group is to inspect, maintain, and repair the City’s flood control protection (levee) system in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Additionally, the work group oversees emergency response training for high water events.
To accomplish these objectives, Flood Control has 3 authorized full-time employees comprised of 1 foreman, 2 maintenance workers, and 1 seasonal employee. The Flood Control Foreman is required to maintain a valid Kansas Pesticide Applicator’s certification.
Flood Control maintains 21 miles of levee, including 2 pumping plants, 25 structures, 9 sandbag gaps, and numerous inlet and outlet channels. Flood Control personnel regularly inspect the levee including its slopes, driving surface, gates, pumps, and related equipment. Flood Control also inspects 7 stormwater detention ponds throughout Salina within various residential areas. Five of these are mowed and maintained by Flood Control personnel and the other 2 by others.
Location and Hours of Operation
The Flood Control office is located within the Public Works facility at 412 East Ash Street. The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If citizens would like to report a concern, they should contact the Department of Public Works at (785) 309-5750.
History of Flood Protection Levee
The flood of 1951 affected about 50% of Salina’s residential areas. More than 3,000 residences, 122 businesses, 2 schools, and 3 churches were affected by the flood. Approximately 13,500 people were evacuated. In the years prior to 1951, Salina experienced 40-50 high water events, including 5 major floods. The flood of 1951 led to the construction of the City’s present levee, which was completed in 1961.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed the levee to protect the City from twice the volume of flood water that occurred in 1951. The cost was in excess of $6 million with approximately $2.3 million in local funds. The project included approximately 17.4 miles of levee construction, 12.2 miles of channel change, 12 bridges replacements, and thousands of acres of land involved in right-of-way easements. Prior to 1930, 4.7 miles of levee had been constructed with local funds along the east side of Dry Creek, southwest of Crawford Street. Approximately 3.6 miles of this levee are still utilized bringing the total levee maintained to 21.0 miles.