Flood mitigation doing its job at school

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cassville intermediate basement avoiding flooding after heavy rains

The basement of Cassville Intermediate School suffered heavy flood damages in December 2015, leading school officials to embark on a nearly three-year project to complete a $2.3 million flood mitigation project through FEMA — and, the work is proving successful.

U.S. Rep. Billy Long cut the ribbon on the project in March 2018, and recently, with multiple heavy rain events in the Barry County area, school officials have been tracking the amount of water being moved.

Dusty Reid, director of facilities and operations, said the first weekend of May, pumps buried below the Intermediate school collecting ground water pumped more than 1.1 million gallons into Flat Creek over a 72-hour period.

Relentless rain in June, put the pumps to work even more, especially following the June 26 storm that dumped 8 inches of rain in one hour. In the 72 hours prior to June 26, 808,000 gallons was pumped out. In the 72-hour period following the June 26 storm that flooded 11th Street, the pumps removed 1,276,000 gallons of water.

That water flows through pipes under Wildcat stadium, which daylight by the practice field and allows the water to drain into Flat Creek.

“Any of the large rains like that would have affected the basement in the past,” Reid said. “But, we sleep good at night, and this has proven very effective so far.”

Reid said the two interior pumps, buried 6 feet below the basement, have yet to be triggered. Only the three exterior pumps have been turned on, running for about 6 minutes each time and restarting as early as 10 minutes later. Each 6-minute cycle pumps about 3,500 gallons of water.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said the exterior pumps are buried 40 feet below ground, which is 20 feet below the basement floor. A set of French drains sits just 5 feet below the floor, the second and third levels of which have yet to even get wet.

“Those pumps catch 90 percent of the water flowing toward the building,” Asbill said. “We still have two more layers of redundancy if significantly more water were to hit the building. We believe the engineers put those pumps exactly in the right locations.

I have called the engineers and thanked them for the great job they did.”

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