Residents prepare for flooding in Osage County

3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, May 03 2017 May 3, 2017 Wednesday, May 03, 2017 3:34:00 PM CDT May 03, 2017 in News
By: Jalyn Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporter

OSAGE COUNTY — For almost a week, Mid-Missourians living in Osage County have been dealing with flooding in their area.

The National Weather Service declared a flood warning for Osage County early Wednesday afternoon and is expected to end on Friday.

Towns near the Maries River, like Westphalia, Bonnots Mill and Taos are expected to experience minor and moderate flooding throughout the rest of the week.

The consistent rainfall has flooded the Maries river, threatening the homes of people like Gregory Maples. Maples has lived in his home on the river for 36 years and has experienced several floods.

“At the beginning of the day the water was out at the bank and by the afternoon it was at the car port,” Maples said.

Because the height of the water changed so quickly, Maples wasn’t able to save many of the things in his basement from the flooding. This week alone, he lost his freezer and lawn mower and has to redo the electric system in the basement.

This isn’t the worst of his experiences. During a flood in 1993, he and his son were stuck in his house for 23 days. More recently in the winter of 2015, a flood completely demolished one of the walls in his basement.

Jill Snodgrass has had similar experiences with flooding in her home. She's lived near the river for almost 15 years.

Their basement is made of cinder block to help protect it from flood waters, and the main living space of the home is elevated. Despite their preparation, this most recent flood has impacted them greatly. 

"My husband's yearbooks, some furniture and my new tapestry is down in the basement. It's not the most convenient, but it's just stuff," Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass and her husband were out of town last week and returned on Sunday, after the heavy rainfall on Saturday. That rainfall led to some flooding. Snodgrass said the water from the river reached from the river bank to the road in front of their house.

Usually Snodgrass uses a canoe to get from her front door to her car, but the canoe broke during the December flood in 2015. Now, Snodgrass has to swim from her her front door through her front lawn to get to her car.

"I just ordered another one but it didn't get here in time for this flood, it's supposed to be here on Friday," Snodgrass said.

Despite the damage to their homes, Maples and Snodgrass said this comes with the territory of owning a home on the river.

“I love the river, it’s something about that peace and quiet when you’re on a boat. If you really love the river, it’s worth it,” Maples said.

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