About 50 volunteers of all ages were shoveling sand furiously today, preparing hundreds of sandbags to place inside the flood gates of Halstead when those gates were closed.
The Little Arkansas River was rising this morning after two weeks of steady rainfall. Riverside Park, just outside the city levee system on Hertzler Memorial Highway, was mostly underwater Wednesday morning. The bridge leading into town was barely above water.
According to the National Weather Service, the Little Arkansas River near Halstead was at 26.8 feet at 8 a.m.
Flood stage is 25 feet.
Halstead Road, which connects the town to U.S. 50 on the west side of the city, had water lapping at its shoulders as well.
The community is still planning to move forward with The Old Settlers Picnic, the oldest continuous celebration in Harvey County, scheduled for this weekend. However, Riverside Park will not be used. Activities will be moved downtown.