US Army Corps of Engineers expected to study Shunga Creek flood zone

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Eight years after the Shunganunga Creek flooded and drove hundreds of families from their homes, the City of Topeka and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it’s now time to figure out a way to avoid future flooding.

Eric Lynn, Project Manager for the Shunganunga Creek Flood Risk Management Study, presented information about the study to the council Tuesday night.

Lynn says six areas in particular are at high risk of flooding. Those are essentially based on a 2011 FEMA flood insurance study.

Based off of an analysis from The USACE suggests building levees or flood-walls and buying out some homeowners to reduce the effects of flooding.

Councilmember Brendan Jensen was concerned about the potential option of buying out homeowners’ houses that sit in the flood zone.

“Can you confirm that at this point it is not being discussed, and there is no reason for people to stop maintaining their homes because the government is going to come and buy them?” asks Jensen.

“In only one area did we find that it really makes an economic improvement if we buy out a few homes,” says Lynn. “Just because we might have a better economic benefit to remove homes, doesn’t mean you have to do that project.”

The USACE plans to hold public meetings beginning next week on the study.

The Topeka City Council on Tuesday also:

  • Unanimously approved to cover the cost to conduct a feasibility study for the building of the Kansas Turnpike interchange in Southeast Topeka. The city will cover $20,000 of the study’s cost.
  • The council passed resolutions granting transient guest tax funding to four separate projects: $3.345 million for a Downtown Plaza project; $355,000 for refurbishing Constitution Hall; $300,000 for the Evil Knievel Museum; and $680,000 for the historic Jayhawk Theatre.

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