Across the state, municipalities are dealing with heavy rainfall and worsening flooding conditions, thanks to severe spring storms sweeping across the Midwest.
Last Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency due to the threat of flash flooding and very high water levels. With constant rainy conditions, rivers, creeks and streams have become inundated with water leading to dangerous conditions in several counties.
In Platte County, saturated soil conditions have wreaked havoc for many homeowners experiencing water leaking into their basements. Clogged storm drains and culvert pipes have also caused standing water around properties.
For several local municipalities still drying out from March flooding, this more recent round of severe weather is salt on the wound.
“During March, the Missouri River reached major flood stage,” said Alysen Abel, the public works director for the City of Parkville.
“Once the water levels receded, the public works crews began working to restore our riverfront parks, which includes the removal of silt, cleaning debris from trees, reestablishment of trails, restoration of ballfields and dog parks.”
Abel said the city declared a state of emergency due to the flooding. “We recently received word that there is a federal declaration, enabling us to utilize federal emergency funding to assist with the restoration efforts,” said Abel.
Undoubtably a portion of those funds will be used to remove damaged trees.
“There were few trees that were damaged from the recent flooding,” said Abel.
“The majority of the downed trees did not originate from English and Platte Landing parks, they were from communities upstream of Parkville.”
“To date, the city has spent a little over $5,000 for tree removal,” said Abel. “This estimate doesn’t include the countless hours spent by our crews to restore the park.”
The one bright spot is that the recent flooding has created an inhospitable environment for mosquitoes.
“Mosquitoes breed in shallow, stagnant water,” said Abel. “With the recent flooding, the water levels have been deeper and free flowing, which is not a rich environment for breeding mosquitoes. Because of these factors, we are not expecting an increase in the presence of mosquitoes.”
If occurrences of mosquitoes arise in the parks, Abel said the city’s public works department will treat them with “efficient and effective methods.”
STATEWIDE Governor Mike Parson on Memorial Day activated the Missouri National Guard as the state continues to respond to damaging flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms and remains under the threat of additional flooding and severe storms this week.
Parson made the decision to activate the Guard after conferring with the state emergency management team, including officials from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, State Emergency Management Agency, and the Missouri National Guard.
On Tuesday, May 21, Governor Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the continuing severe weather and forecasts for tornadoes, strong straight-line winds, hail, heavy rainfall, and worsening flooding due to prolonged soil inundation throughout the state.
On Wednesday, May 22, Missouri was hit by a series of tornadoes and severe storms that killed three people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, including in Carl Junction, Golden City, Eldon, and Jefferson City.
In response to earlier flooding and storms this year, on May 20, President Donald Trump approved Governor Parson’s request for a major disaster declaration to help local governments and nonprofit agencies in 13 Missouri counties recover from devastating flooding and severe storms that occurred from March 11 to April 16.
That declaration made federal assistance available for the repair of damaged roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure, along with emergency response costs associated with the March 11 to April 16 storm system and flooding in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray, and Ste. Genevieve counties. The governor’s April 24 request said $25 million in qualifying expenses had already been identified.