Still Picking Up Pieces

9 years 3 months 1 week ago June 18, 2007 Jun 18, 2007 Monday, June 18 2007 Monday, June 18, 2007 4:43:03 PM CDT in News

Now after the water has gone down, residents are cleaning up. Joe Kempker has lived by the Osage River for 27 years. Throughout the years, he's become a cleaning expert.

"It doesn't bother me any more as far as that goes," Kempker said.

After last month's flood, Kempker's property is back to normal, and most of the area is clean. But the Missouri Conservation's Stream Team still plans to clean the Missouri and Osage River at the end of July.

"If they clean it up right away it's a lot easier than if they let it go for two, three weeks or a month," Kempker said.

"Usually they go in several days sometimes weeks ahead of time and flag out trash dump sites along the river, upstream and down stream," said Sherry Fischer, Stream Team Biologist. "They know they have those sites mapped out ahead of time so when the volunteers come out, they can just shuttle volunteers in boats out to those individual clean up sites with all the right equipment."

Fischer says the later clean up date is due to fluctuating water levels. Even though Kempker does not plan to help with the project, he still commends the efforts of the Stream Team.

"Everybody's got to do their part," Kempker said.

And as the community comes together, the "Big Muddy" will no longer be the "Big Messy." The Stream Team plans to coordinate clean up efforts in St. Charles, Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.

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