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Monday, May 2, 2016

After the flood: damage still being assessed

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flooding on Sept. 19 and the city's response to it was discussed at Monday's regular meeting of the Monett City Council.

Mayor Jim Orr asked department heads for reports about flooding around town on Sept. 19. Street Superintendent Russ Balmas said the street barn, which sits next to Kelly Creek at Sixth and Bond, had 16 inches of water in the building. Residents in the Marshall Trailer Park, located on the west side of the Centennial Overpass, had up to 15 inches of water inside their residences, said Building Inspector George Rausch. Flooding reached 42 inches above the water level there.

Rausch said he and Assistant Building Inspector Wade Ennis, along with engineer Kevin Sprenkle, have established benchmarks for the 100-year flood on Broadway. From what he could tell, Saturday's flooding fell two feet short of what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has calculated as the 100-year flood height.

Balmas reported erosion damage on the bridges over Fourth and Sixth streets. The sidewalk, which the torrent going over the bridge removed at Fourth Street, can be repaired. Rausch said any building receiving structural damage of more than 50 percent of its value from the flood would be subject to regulatory restrictions, but he said he did not expect to find that kind of damage.

Gale Bruner, with Bruner Pharmacy, asked for permission to place a few storage pods on the sidewalk on Fourth Street next to his store for inventory while repairs are made to the floor in his storeroom. Orr said Rausch would work with Bruner to make that possible.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch reported the lagoon at the city's wastewater plant filled early in the evening. The city's newest wastewater plant operator was on duty by himself that night and called for additional help to get the ultraviolet equipment out of the drainway into Clear Creek, where backfilling could have washed it away.

Water came to within a foot of the top of the fence at the west end of the wastewater plant. In 1993 flood water flattened the fence, Rauch recalled. Flooding got into the Seventh Street substation but did not disrupt power. The only reported power outage was at Hydro Aluminum, possibly due to lightning.

At least three bales of cardboard for recycling were reported to have floated away from the Sheltered Workshop's recycling facility on the east side of the Centennial Overpass. Rauch said a 3,000-gallon polyethylene tank floated down to the Dairy Farmers of America sewer pre-treatment plant west of Highway 37.

Bonnie Witt-Schulte, police dispatching supervisor, reported additional help had been called in on Saturday night. Some problems arose from running out of street barricades. Balmas said his crews did not place barricades on streets that already have signs saying, "Impassible during high water."

"People are going to have to pay attention to the signs," Balmas said.

Representatives from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) would be coming to town to do a damage assessment, said Witt-Schulte. If there was sufficient damage, assistance may be available through the Small Business Administration, she said.

"I think the crews did a great job working together," commented Commissioner Mike Brownsberger.

Mayor Orr also offered praise for work done getting debris out of the streets.

Building Inspector Rausch said he has compiled a list of companies that sell products such as water-proof doors. Anyone wanting a list of products that can help flood-proof a building can contact him at city hall.



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