Two north JC businesses forced to close by floodwaters
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Two businesses sitting on Oil Well Road near the Jefferson City airport are closed until flooding in the Capital View Drainage District subsides.
Turkey Creek Golf Center and Midwest Block and Brick’s Midwest Premix’s properties both flooded Friday evening into Saturday morning.
Turkey Creek Golf Center is surrounded by U.S. 63 to the southwest, U.S. 54 to the southeast, Turkey Creek to the northwest and a levee to the northeast.
The levee can contain 30 feet of water. The natural high ground between Turkey Creek and the Golf Center can contain 29 feet of water.
This weekend’s flood levels rose to 30.79 feet, floodwaters spilled from Turkey Creek into the Turkey Creek Golf Center and Midwest Premix, northeast of the golf center.
The Drainage District blocked off the only escape for the water at U.S. 63, which acts as a levee. By blocking off the only gap, the water was contained within the Turkey Creek Golf Center area and wasn’t able to escape to land across the highway.
Danny Baumgartner, owner of the Golf Center, said he has more than three feet of water on parts of his course.
“I’ve got major damage, he said. “I have $15,000 equipment under water. It’s my pump station, so I
cannot water my greens, which are about $15,000 each, and there’s nine of them out there.”
He said his greens are high enough to not be under water.
He wishes someone would have warned him before the gap on U.S. 63 was blocked and he could have moved some of his equipment to higher ground.
Baumgartner said he’s contacted his lawyer and plans to file suit with the city.
“If I can’t get a settlement here, they’ll basically bankrupt me,” he said. “There’s no way I can pay things out to survive.”
The Missouri Golf Association (MGA), whose office is in the Turkey Creek Golf Center’s main building, also cannot operate from its headquarters.
Scott Hovis, executive director of MGA, said the organization hosts events and with the area being flooded, it becomes difficult to obtain the events’ supplies from the main office.
“We’re able to still have events, but we had to boat there yesterday to get equipment,” he said.
Darryl Winegar, president of Midwest Block and Brick, said that when his crew found out Friday that the flood level was expected to reach 29.5 feet, they knew it was borderline, but it didn’t cause much alarm.
“We did have a higher flow of water than in the past,” he said. “But I don’t know why that happened.”
He said his crews worked from about 5 p.m. Friday until 11:30 a.m. Saturday, mobilizing inventory, because when their powder product gets wet, it reacts with the water and is no longer good.
“When the river crested Saturday, we had to evacuate,” Winegar said. “It’s happened before. We take it very seriously.”
He said the company has an evacuation plan in place to be used when flooding occurs.
The Capital View Drainage District also has a plan and volunteers to help when flooding occurs.
“The levee district has worked tirelessly and as a city, we try to support them and help them however we can,” said Britt Smith, operations division director for the city and city representative for the Capital View Drainage District. “I think their goal was protecting those behind the levee where the water was going to overflow.”
He said businesses between U.S. 54, U.S. 63 and Turkey Creek should know that if the water rises above 29 feet, they’re going to get wet. Blocking the gap along U.S. 63 has always been the plan and even if it wasn’t blocked, he said the Turkey Creek Golf Center would have still had the same amount of standing water.
“Others getting wet, too, isn’t going to solve anything,” he said.
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