September 18, 2008

Scotland County Witnesses Unprecedented Flooding Following Seven Inches of Rain

“I’ve never seen water there.” That’s a quote that can be attributed to just about any resident of Scotland County following the two-day rain storm that resulted in some of the most significant flooding in recent county history.

Already saturated grounds received between six and seven inches of rain on Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, resulting in widespread flooding across the county on Saturday.

Missouri Department of Transportation crews were busy Saturday with a number of road closures. Highway 136 was limited to one lane of traffic just west of Memphis. Route H and Route MM both were closed to traffic. Highway 15 south of Memphis was closed Saturday evening. Route A at Rainbow Bridge near Gorin remained closed on Monday.

County Clerk Betty Lodewegen stated the county road crews were reviewing the damage, but as of Monday afternoon had no reports of bridge outages.

“That doesn’t mean that the county roads weathered the storms,” she said. “Road boss Ryan Clark said the county roads were hit hard by the storms and flooding.”

Emergency service personnel had a calm night despite the weather issues. The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office reported no weather-related traffic accidents or other storm-related emergencies.

Workers constructed a rock and sand berm east of Ed’s Used Machinery shop, but owner Ed Good said waters began receding by 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening and never reached the structure.

That wasn’t the case on the other side of the Fabius River. An earthen berm was constructed around Martin’s Auto Service and that structure actually prevented the floodwaters from reaching the recently constructed business on Highway 136 in Memphis.

Floodwaters inundated the All States Equipment facility east of the Fabius River, and also forced the evacuation of several horses from the Circle M Ranch.

Memphis Water Superintendent Dennis Howard stated the floodwaters turned the city water plant into an island.

“The pre-sedimentary basin was flooded but the water plant and the treatment basin are higher and were not effected by the floodwaters,” he said.

Howard noted that the city was already pumping water to the treatment facility directly from Lake Show-Me so the flooding did not impact the city’s water service. The pre-sedimentary basin is used by the plant to store water prior to treatment, allowing it to settle out sediment and also be treated for algae bloom or other issues.

“We switch back and forth from the basin to direct access to the lake depending on the conditions, and then we adjust our treatment process accordingly,” Howard said.

The police department did evacuate the dogs from the city dog pound, located near the water plant, on Saturday morning due to the threat of rising waters.

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