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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monett dodges flood bullet

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Storm water rose to the edge of Kelly Creek on Monday evening. With rains diminishing, many came down to get a closer look, cruising over the bridges or coming to the banks, as did Travis Thompson and Ben Pilkenton at the Sixth Street municipal parking lot. Water held at near flood stage for three hours before dropping.
For three hours on Monday evening, Monett property owners paced nervously, watching Kelly Creek at the peak of its banks. In the end, the water level dropped as the rains stopped, averting a flood that was widely expected.

Kelly Creek rose steadily throughout the afternoon, jumping to six feet around 5 p.m. Fire Chief Tom Jones summoned firefighters to gather at Thirteenth and East Broadway to stand by for flood duty.

City street department crews moved their heavy equipment from the street barn at Sixth and Front streets to Bond Street. Firemen notified residents of the Marshall Trailer Park of the likelihood of flooding. According to Lieutenant Danny Fowler, all the occupants headed out, some with supplies.

The rain continued lightly for the next two hours and the creek held its height, carrying numerous branches and logs through town. Water covered two-thirds of the storm drains that empty into the channel, backfilling the storm sewer to a height of one foot below the street level.

Around 6:30 p.m., firefighters discovered a major spill of chicken parts on Highway 60 between Chapell Drive and Bridle Lane. Jones deployed firemen to redirect traffic and called for a street department backhoe to clear up the debris. Shortly before that, one truck diverted toward Aurora to help with a water rescue.

After 7:30 p.m., the rain stopped and the sky began to lighten. By 8 p.m. the creek had dropped six inches, below the storm water main. Firefighters returned to their stations shortly before 9 p.m. without having to block any streets or respond to flooding.

The difference on the night, Jones speculated, was water from the north. Storm water draining down Roosevelt from the high school and joining Kelly Creek at Ninth Street stayed surprisingly low. Jones said the balance was just enough to avoid another flood. Monett already has floods of record during April in 1912, 1941, 1945, 1981 and 2008.

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