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Residents still recovering from storm, flooding

An abandoned vehicle sits in flood waters Saturday that are covering the street near the intersection of Schroeder Way and Walnut Street.

An abandoned vehicle sits in flood waters Saturday that are covering the street near the intersection of Schroeder Way and Walnut Street. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

This week’s flooding on the Missouri River made it a challenge for some Central Missouri residents to get to work.

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Drivers venture into the flood waters covering West Miller Street on Friday night.

“We are river rats so we know how to be crafty,” said KJLU Radio News Director Leslie Cross, who lives in Mokane. “We woke up Saturday morning and were trapped. We could get to Fulton, but Missouri 94 to Jefferson City was underwater. So Monday and Tuesday we took Route C to Fulton and then went on 54 from Fulton to Jefferson City.”

Cross said the water went down Tuesday so you could drive from Route C in Mokane and go west on 94 until you got to Route PP.

“This was nothing like it was 20 years ago,” she said. “I came home for the summer that year and got trapped. We lived on a bluff in the countryside of Mokane and the only way to get out was by boat or drive through a field.”

Cross said when you grow up in a flood plain, flooding is a reality that you have to deal with.

“Since ’93 most folks don’t live in the flood plain, they live on higher ground,” she said. “With the flood of ’93, the water just wouldn’t go away. This was very easy compared to that situation, but if you live in the country, it’s still possible you could get stranded. I’ve seen floods that washed off foundations, but this was light in comparison. Where it did hurt was in the pocketbook, especially when gas prices are as high as they are now.”

While residents had to find new ways to get to their jobs because of the flooding, business owners near the river also had to get innovative to keep their operations going.

Last Thursday, Annette Davis, general manager of Capital Energy Company on Renz Farm Road, thought the business would escape the flood waters, but early Saturday morning things changed.

When the river hit 29 feet and predictions continued to rise, she decided it was best to move.

On Saturday, Davis relocated the business to their disaster recovery site at Huber & Associates, a Jefferson City information technology business on Edgewood Drive, for the time being.

“I just felt that we may lose power and we may not be able to get into our office,” Davis said.

Davis hopes to return to their home office later on this week, but they could be delayed with more rain expected.

For now, they are in full operation at their home away from home.

“I think it’s important for all businesses to have a disaster recovery plan in place,” Davis said. “This could have been a huge loss for our business.”

Railroad bridge project on track despite flooding

Despite the recent flooding, the Osage River Bridge project is on track and running ahead of schedule.

Troy Hughes, the project manager with the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the project, which is constructing a second railroad bridge over the Osage River at an estimated cost of $20 million, suffered a one-week delay because of the flooding, but work is scheduled to resume Monday and the project remains ahead of schedule.

“The contract completion was for the end of this year and, even with this one week of downtime, they’re still on track to meet that date,” Hughes said.

Hughes said no material or equipment that he knows of was affected by the flooding, so no added funds were needed for repairs or replacements.

Hughes noted the project has an on-site camera for those who want to see the construction progress. The program also allows viewers to look at past footage by date or time, so those interested can see how the floodwaters affected the project.

Anyone interested in viewing the footage from the on-site camera can visit oxblue.com/open/modot/cams and click the Osage City Rail Bridge.

Osage City recovers from storm damage

Besides the flooding in Osage City, residents there dealt with substantial cleanup from the weekend storm.

Roger Drinkard lives in Jefferson City, but he owns property in Osage City, including a restaurant/bar and a bank building next door. He also owns a rental mobile home, which is where most of the storm damage occurred to his property.

Wind from the storm ripped out a 50-foot tree “roots and all, out of the ground,” and it fell on the trailer home. No one was home at the the time, and the trailer didn’t sustain internal damage. The outside, however, had partial damage to the steps and front and storm doors, he said.

He said the renter was not displaced.

He said the total damage will run between $5,000 and $6,000, and that his insurance will cover around $3,000.

He escaped flooding concerns, since his property is higher than the Osage City bridge, he said.

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