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Archive for Wednesday, May 24, 1995

BURCHAM PARK, NEARBY HOMES TAKING ON WATER

May 24, 1995

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As the Kansas River continues to swell, Burcham Park will continue to flood.

And that's got Debra Meek worried.

"We're afraid that the same thing's going to happen," said Meek, who was forced from her home alongside the park for a week during the Flood of 1993. "The basement's already starting to fill up."

Meek, 702 W. Second, and her husband, Thomas, plan to move their washing machine, couch and other furniture out of the basement this evening.

"Last time we lost everything in the basement," she said this morning.

City officials also are preparing for high water.

Burcham Park, along the southern banks of the river west of the Kansas River Bridge, was closed this morning as water ran across walking trails and up to the railroad tracks, said Keith Whealy, operations supervisor for the city's utilities department.

The department's six usable water wells also were shut down this morning, because high water prevented workers from reaching the wells for maintenance, Whealy said. The city's water supply was not affected.

The park, known for its 1/2-mile urban trail and cottonwood forest, is not protected by a levee, as is North Lawrence. Parking lots and roads within the park were covered with water this morning, Whealy said.

"We just can't have people driving down in there, because you don't know what will happen," he said.

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