May 17, 2001

Mother Nature Unloads Major Rain Fall On Scotland County For Mother's Day

Mother Nature must have been a bit emotional, to the point of tears, from the celebration of Mother's Day in Scotland County as she stayed around all day May 13 dropping anywhere from five to eight-plus inches of rain across the county.

The severe thunderstorms were isolated mainly to Scotland County in Missouri and Van Buren County in southern Iowa. After raining off and on all day Sunday, the brunt of the storm hit the region at approximately 9:30 p.m. and lasted for more than two hours. During that time period as much as five inches of rain fell in the Memphis area.

At 9:43 p.m. the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning continuing until 12:45 a.m. CDT for Scotland County.

Local law enforcement officers issued reports of numerous roads across the county being closed due to high water. Route C and Route CC in northern Scotland County were closed due to water over the roadway at bridges. Route M and Route A in southern Scotland County were also closed due to high water. Highway 15 just north of Memphis was closed briefly due to water over the road at the bridge.

The road conditions kept local emergency service personnel busy throughout the evening and early morning hours. The Scotland County Sheriff's Department was assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Scotland County Ambulance Service and Scotland County Fire Department in closing the roads.

Emergency vehicles were placed at the trouble spots to warn motorists. The high water problems receded in several of the trouble spots shortly after midnight. However some areas remained closed on Monday morning, including Route C as well as Route M in the Rutledge area, which reported the highest rainfall totals, surpassing eight inches.

The Memphis Police Department stayed busy as well, closing numerous roads due to high water. The brunt of the water problems centered around the main drainage ditch in the eastern part of town.

Several homes on the eastern end of the drainage area were damaged by high waters. Other problems arose around box culverts and bridges as the street department reported moderate damage on several roads.

Leroy Bibby's electric shop sustained significant water damage. The shop, located just north of the box culvert at the intersection of Saunders and Madison Streets, took on more than a foot of water.

Bibby was busy Monday morning removing equipment from the shop and beginning the clean up. That was the first time in the shop's history that it had sustained water damage. Bibby stated it had been close on numerous occasions before the city had repaired the drainage ditch, but this was the first actual damage to the workshop caused by flooding.

"You get that much rain in that short a time period and you are going to have flooding in low lying areas regardless of how good the drainage system is," Bibby said.

While the workshop was a low note for the family, they did still have a bridge standing across the ditch from their home to the shop. The old bridge had been washed out on several occasions, prompting Bibby to replace it with a larger, heavier version that weathered this storm.

"It bowed a little bit against the heavy water current, but it made it through the flooding and is none the worse for the wear," he stated.

Roads and homes were not the lone victims of the storm. Area farmers will begin accessing the damage this week and many likely will begin planning to replant low-lying areas that were flooded.

Farmers that suffered crop damage due to the storms can begin filing notices of loss with the Farm Service Agency office in Scotland County. Some assistance could be available to producers under the department's new Non-Insurable Assistance Program (NAP).

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