Dealing with Disaster - FEMA Covers Bill for Moving Missouri Town

1 decade 10 months 2 weeks ago November 09, 2005 Nov 9, 2005 Wednesday, November 09 2005 Wednesday, November 09, 2005 2:39:36 PM CST in News

From Hurricane Katrina to the great floods of '93 we examine FEMA's response then and now.

Here in Rhineland population 176, a tiny town in Montgomery county, a few miles west of Hermann, about 40 miles east of Jefferson City.

FEMA was not here the day of the flood, no FEMA wasn't here until the water started going down, the local fire department was here to make sure people got out.

Imagine living here in Rhineland the summer of '93 the flood waters are rising a foot per hour it's human nature to lose your cool, you don't think clearly the residents here felt like the residents in New Orleans.

Steve Etcher is the excutive director of the Booneslick Regional Planning Commission. Etcher convinced Rhineland's 52 other homeowners to seek higher ground, it was an idea right out of right field.

"We're not going to do the buyout we can't afford it, we'll do a relocation," Etcher said.

Moving the entire town, it made sense at the time. By the time the water receded the houses here had no value. They had no value before the floods.

This used to be a Rhineland neighborhood you wonder why didn't the homeowners have insurance; the homes were old they had been flooded so often the acessor placed no value here so you'd don't insure something that is monetarily worthless and remember FEMA isn't an insurance company either," Etchers said.

Etcher negotiated a deal, he got FEMA to pay $10,000-12,000 to move each house.

"Nobody just gave you a check and said go, we had to propose specifically what the monies should be used for," Etchers said.

Steve Wehrle was the first on top of the hill. Wherle has been Rhineland's mayor for the past 9 years.

Rhineland today includes more than 50 homes overlooking the Missouri River bottom. They were willing to accept a hand up but they weren't looking for a handout.

Shane and Gabrielle Gleeson live up the hill, they were married in Rhineland as the water was rising. Rhinelanders knew first hand about fema.

"They didn't get here right away either took them awhile they had to do their paperwork and stuff to get fema here it's just the way things are done," Shane Gleeson said.

It was done slowly in Rhineland, the move took more than a year.

"Was FEMA crticized or applauded in Rhineland? Yes, when you're totally displaced from your house your emotions run high and FEMA came in with a lot of different temporary employees hired to come in and offer assistance and everytime they would come in it would be somebody different and people get frustrated by that fema wasn't criticized for what they were doing but how they were doing it," Wherle said.

Back in '93 Steve Wherle owned Rhineland's only bar and grill..

We heard on TV that businesses were opening up I could see right where they were coming from I had a business back when the flood hit and that's what everyone thought we have to get back we have to make a living we can't survive without making a living.

Rhineland survived up on the hill. Unfortunately New Orleans doesn't have a big hill like this sitting in their backyard. There's no big hill anywhere near New Orleans.

Common sense says don't rebuild if it can flood again.

Etcher says any community can move... If residents allow the idea to work.

More News

Grid
List
DE SOTO (AP) — Two people have been killed in a traffic accident in eastern Missouri. The Missouri... More >>
3 hours ago September 25, 2016 Sep 25, 2016 Sunday, September 25 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 5:19:27 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An advocacy group wants state and federal authorities to investigate a possible arson at a mosque... More >>
3 hours ago September 25, 2016 Sep 25, 2016 Sunday, September 25 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 5:15:24 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man is in serious condition Sunday after he was hit by a car near the intersection... More >>
3 hours ago September 25, 2016 Sep 25, 2016 Sunday, September 25 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 5:12:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The bird's the word at the Raptor Rehabilitation Project's annual family picnic. More than 50 people met... More >>
7 hours ago September 25, 2016 Sep 25, 2016 Sunday, September 25 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 1:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – More than 150 people registered to participate in a walk at Stankowski Field Sunday morning to raise awareness... More >>
16 hours ago September 25, 2016 Sep 25, 2016 Sunday, September 25 2016 Sunday, September 25, 2016 4:34:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded at 8:16 p.m. Saturday to a shooting outside of a home at 2800... More >>
23 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 9:35:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- On Saturday, Meals with Mom brought together mothers and their children to make homemade pizza rolls and desert. ... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 7:08:00 PM CDT in News
WARSAW (AP) — A 51-year-old Springfield man already in prison on drug charges has been sentenced to life in prison... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:58:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A former Joplin police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for offering to help a... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:32:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Police arrested two siblings Saturday morning at a residence on the 900 block of Lyle Street. ... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A 41-year-old man was accused of beating his significant other with a hammer Friday, according to the Boone... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 4:03:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Old Munichburg Association brought the community out to celebrate German culture during Saturday's Oktoberfest. The... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU Children's Hospital held a tailgate for the MU vs. Delaware State football game Saturday. With help... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:15:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 25-year-old man was struck and killed after he got out of a vehicle stopped... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:50:51 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Tigers' quarterback Drew Lock threw for 402 yards and five touchdowns, including four to wide receiver J’Mon... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:22:00 PM CDT in Sports
HAZELWOOD (AP) — St. Louis area police said injuries have been reported after a car hit people waiting for a... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 1:51:48 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - This morning officers confirmed a report of shots fired in the area of Arlene Drive and Gillespie Bridge... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:54:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One person was killed when a vehicle plunged into a Kansas City area lake. ... More >>
1 day ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:15:43 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
9pm 66°
10pm 65°
11pm 65°
12am 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:20p
Sunday Night Football
10:30p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:05p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
8:00p
Paid Program
8:30p
Cops Reloaded
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld