Major flood hits Cassville

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
The flood that hit Cassville hard on Wednesday took a toll on one family who lives on Harold Street. Kandi Davidson said thankfully, it was just a partial house flood, but unfortunately, the part that was damaged held items from many of her loved ones who have passed away, including boxes of photos from her grandparents and great grandparents. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

40 homes, 20 businesses affected by flash flood

The city of Cassville suffered a major flooding event June 26, focused on the channel that runs parallel to 11th Street.

According to reports from the National Weather Service, flash flooding was ongoing around Flat Creek on Mill and 10th streets, with four water rescues performed by 6:42 p.m.

David Compton, Barry County Emergency Management director, said about 8 inches of rain fell in one hour south of Highway W and west of Highway 37, which subsequently flowed into the city.

“It started a little bit after 5 p.m. and just rained in one spot, and that was the problem,” Compton said. “The storm developed over Barry County and did not move. It just sat in the Butterfield area northwest of Cassville because the wind died down so there was nothing to push it out.”

Compton said the deluge led to a closure of Highway 37 at Business Highway 37, leaving one car stranded and a water rescue being performed. Highway W was also closed and a water rescue was performed after a vehicle was swept off the roadway. A third rescue was performed in the city of Cassville as the flash flood waters rose. None of the incidents resulted in injuries.

Debris and flooding hit 11th and Mill streets on June 26. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

“There was another system that developed north of Highway W near Pulaskifield, but luckily, that water all went into Spring River and away from us,” Compton said.

By about 8-8:30 p.m., the water receded back into Flat Creek’s banks. Compton said more than 20 businesses and 40 homes suffered damages,

“Assessments are being made right now, and we haven’t had a lot of requests for assistance, but if we do have a need, we have volunteers ready to help,” Compton said. “We are not likely to have enough damage for a disaster declaration for individual assistance, but it is very likely we will get a declaration for public assistance for roads. Catholic Charities is coming to work with families needing help, and the Baptist Disaster Team is in Cassville helping clean homes and providing labor.”

Fair and East 11th streets saw flooding on June 26. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

Compton is also hoping to remind people to get rid of or treat standing water due to mosquitos.

“If anyone has standing water, they should dump it, and if they can’t dump it, they should treat it with a larvaecide,” he said. “This should be done quickly to keep us from having a mosquito problem in the summer.”

David Brock, Cassville public works director, said there was a lot of surface material moved around.

Crews removed debris at the intersection of Main Street and West 11th Street following flooding on June 26. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

“The damage area was 10th Street and 11th Street all the way down to the river,” he said. “People’s yards were heavily damaged and the water took fencing and anything else in the yard, but it took a lot of soil and gravel.”

Brock said the city’s focus right now is getting the roads back open and secondary is opening up the culverts in case of additional rain.

“Townsend Street probably took the worst of the damage,” he said. “There is about 20 feet worth of damage where pavement was lifted off.”

Flood waters swept through Harold Street on June 26. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

Brock said the yard waste drop off site is open for woody debris.

“We don’t want any non-vegetative items that can’t or shouldn’t be burned in that location,” he said. “That will be a location for one of the dumpsters, so people can load things up and sort them properly.”

Brock said he would agree that this flood was one of the worst Cassville has seen in a long time.

“It was probably one of the strongest storms that has hit in not a very wide area,” he said. “It really affected two of our basins in the Northwest side of town, but it had a pretty tremendous impact.”

Brock said there is a high number of businesses that were damaged, and Issac Peterson, Cassville economic developer, is going around town touching base with the commercial entities about their damage.

“Issac is relatively new employee to the city,” he said. “And he is really impressed with the attitude of resiliency that the community is showing.”

Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief, said there is a lot of debris in the area and homes that have water in them.

“We haven’t, [as of June 27], been able to make contact with some of the homeowners because they are not there,” she said. “The people we have made contact have said the water wasn’t up much higher than the door step, but businesses have some significant water damage.”

Kammerlohr said there is some road damage and pavement up.

“Right now, we are trying to see how much damage was done,” she said. “The Cassville Police Department is working with OACAC to help get people some assistance with clean up.”

Kammerlohr said OACAC’s Barry County Neighborhood Center has some cleaning supplies and other materials to help people clean their homes.

“10th Street to 11th Street from County Farm Road all the way to Fair Street was heavily affected,” she said. “It was a pretty crazy night, and now, we are all trying to pick up the pieces.”

Gail Reed, Barry County Neighborhood Center director, said for people who have damage, the center has masks and gloves to help protect them while they are cleaning.

“We recommend the people use bleach and other all purpose cleaners,” she said. “Also, people don’t have to throw out their clothes that may have gotten wet, they can be washed with detergent and saved.”

Reed said one thing people will have to think about is replacing their mops and brooms, because if they are used in the flood water, they can’t really be used for everyday life afterward.

“We have dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, bleach and other all purpose cleaners,” she said. “These items are all free to people affected, so they can take whatever they need.”

Reed said additionally the center is taking donations of items to keep the surplus up for the community.

“We also always take donations of water and try to give that out to people,” she said. “It is hot outside so remember to stay hydrated.”

Video from Table Rock Aerial Photography showed the flood at its peak, extending west from Sale Barn Road down Mill Street to east of Fair Street down 13th Street.

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