Letter to the Editor

We need assistance with road issue

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dear Editor:

We are looking for any one who may be interested in a story about 47 American citizens who have been trapped and isolated for four months because of a Corps of Engineers-created flood. The main reason the Corps created Table Rock Lake was for flood control, not to create floods. Most flood victims are affected for a few days and then they can get on with their lives. We have been flooded in since March 19.

Our condition is because the Corps hasn't dropped Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri under 925 feet of elevation. The only road in/out of our neighborhood is approximately 925 feet elevation. The Corps' response was that this is a minor flooding issue.

FEMA has been here and they basically said this is a man-made lake and what we have is a man-made situation. Missouri state emergency management offered to evacuate us to the other side of the lake. (Drop us off on the black top and then we will be homeless). Congressman Blunt had a field representative out here and his response was this is a county road so no help from the state is available. The governor's office has been contacted with no results. The county commissioners have contacted various state and federal agencies. The county road commissioners' response is they can't do anything until the water goes down because there isn't an emergency situation. How long does it take for us to be flooded in for it to be an emergency situation?

Then once the water does go down all they intend to do is fill the approaches to the bridge up to the elevation of the bridge, which is 929 feet of elevation. The bridge was under water for two months. The top of Table Rock Lake flood pool is elevation 931 so the Corps could hold the lake level at 931 feet elevation, which is two feet above the elevation that the county intends on building the road way and we will be flooded in again.

This is more than just a matter of inconvenience. There are handicapped people over here; the oldest person I know of is an 89-year-old widow who hasn't been out since this started. We have had no mail service or trash service, no way to get propane delivered, no fire protection, no way for an ambulance to get to us. We are taxed by the county for fire/ambulance service. Isn't this taxation without representation? There is also no real law enforcement for us. The school bus stopped picking up the school children from March 19 until the end of the school year.

We are mostly poor working class people over here and that is where the problems arise. But I believe that even the poor have the same rights as any other American citizen.

If you want/need more information on this matter, you can contact me at 417-858-2515 or mail me at H.C. 3 Box 3059, Shell Knob, MO 65747 or e-mail me at theskmo@live.com. Thanks for any assistance you may be able to offer us.


Lonnie Vogt

Shell Knob, Missouri