Low Water Disrupts a Kansas Tradition

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) A float trip on the Arkansas River isn’t much fun when your kayak scrapes the riverbed.

A group called the Arkansas River Coalition has made a tradition of paddling the river in Wichita each New Year’s Day. But months of drought created special challenges Tuesday.

The Wichita Eagle reports this year’s trip had been scheduled for the nearby Little Arkansas, where the water is deep enough for kayaks and canoes.

But the Little Arkansas was frozen over, so the paddlers launched in the main Arkansas River instead only to hit sandbars or get stuck in mud. Several had to drag their boats over the mud to a channel deep enough to float.

The Arkansas dried up completely in parts of Kansas over the summer.