Wichita River levels on the rise, should we be worried?

Wichita River levels on the rise, should we be worried?

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - News Channel 6 and our First Alert 6 Weather Team have been keeping a close eye on flooding downstream along the Wichita River.

The river took a large jump over the weekend. At midnight Saturday, the river was sitting at three feet deep. On Monday, the river sat closer to 13 feet. That was a ten-foot jump over just a few days.

In 2007, our area was facing a similar scenario. Parts of Texoma saw a lot of rain in early July, specifically to the west of Wichita Falls. That excess water ended up in the Wichita River as it ran off from the creeks and streams that left their banks.

That runoff caused some major flooding to the Tanglewood area and east side of Wichita Falls. For the story to repeat itself, things would have to get much worse and here is why.

After the massive flooding in 2007, city, state and federal government came together and did a big survey of the Wichita River. The survey found there was massive overgrowth along the banks.

That overgrowth was cut back and essentially gave the river a greater capacity to handle runoff water following heavy rainfall. The last time that area saw the river leave its banks was in 2015.

In spring 2015, nearly two feet of rain fell to the west of Wichita Falls and it all came down the river. Our area has not seen anywhere close to two feet of rain out of this system. We are expecting more rain it should not be slow moving storms that just sit and drench the area.

That means although we’ve seen river levels increase sharply over the last few days the river bed is in good condition to handle a bit more rain before we would need to start worrying. For a look at the latest river levels, click here.

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