How the flood of 1993 prepared Jefferson City for today

1 month 1 week 3 days ago Wednesday, June 12 2019 Jun 12, 2019 Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:37:00 AM CDT June 12, 2019 in News
By: Claire Bradshaw, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – Floodwaters reached levels near what they were at during the historic flood of 1993, but the impact was lessened thanks to lessons learned 26 years ago.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin was there in 1993. A senior in college, the flood stuck with her.

“That was big…it was something we all remember,” Tergin said. “It’s definitely something you never forget.”

Now she is mayor of the city, dealing with two natural disasters at once. 

“It’s been a major challenge, but I think something that we’ve learned is it is something that we can get through,” Tergin said. “Before, we knew the flood was the biggest challenge…then we had the tornado and we realized pretty quick, when these things happen you just have to work through it.”

The flood of 1993 destroyed roads, homes and land. After the water receded, the city knew it had to change some things to minimize the damage the next time the water got that high.

According to MoDOT district maintenance engineer Jason Shafer, the big change was to Highway 63. 

“The southbound lanes of 63 were substantially lower at that point in time and there was significant water damage,” Shafer said. “They were raised some amount, so the water is going to have to be higher before it affects that section of roadway simply because the lanes are higher than what they were in ’93.”

Britt Smith, Jefferson City Public Works Operations Division Director, said the city made some changes after 1993 as well through a large buyout program where the city bought flood-prone properties.

“Now we have ballfields and things like that [there], and it’s unfortunate whenever they flood, but life is not at risk and major property is not at risk.”

Tergin pointed out how the addition of Lafayette Interchange has made a big difference in getting around during flood times. 

“It’s opened up a whole corridor to bypass some of the congested areas,” Tergin said.

Now, the city is looking at what is next.

“We’re also looking at what else can we do? Maybe there’s something we can do with raising some roads a little bit on the south side of the river to make it more flood resilient," Smith said.

“It is something we know being a town on the river…we do our best to prepare. It’s evident that since ’93 we’ve learned a lot and we’ve done our best,” Tergin said. “It’s going to take a lot to rebuild and we’ll learn from this one as we did from ’93.”

More News

Grid
List
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Missouri Highway Patrol Troop F responded to a boat fire at the Lake of the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:40:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - FEMA opened the doors of a new Disaster Recovery Center in Cole County over the weekend. ... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:37:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Columbia teenager is home safe after she was missing for almost two days. Summer Skye Allen,... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:05:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Three men were arrested after allegedly stealing $22,000 worth of electronics from a Moberly Walmart Saturday. Several... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 6:53:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in Continuous News
CENTERTOWN - Family, friends and even strangers showed up to celebrate Jasen Smith's life at his Memorial Benefit at Apple... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 4:35:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police confirmed a runaway teen missing since Thursday was found safe Saturday afternoon. Summer Skye Allen was... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After being closed since May due to flooding, The Station House at Katfish Katy's is now open. ... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 3:32:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The runway at Jefferson City Memorial Airport is back open after a small plane overturned Saturday morning.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Rolla man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for a 2017 shooting that killed two people.... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 7:45:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Missouri Highway Patrol helped detonate a suspicious package Friday afternoon at the Holts Summit Police Station.... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 7:29:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With excessive heat fixed over Mid-Missouri, senior citizens looked for a place to escape the heat on Friday.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 1:45:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Show-Me State games kicked off Friday morning at 11 AM with a Torch Run at the... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 1:44:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Thursday night after he allegedly went into a woman's apartment and sexually abused her.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 9:06:01 AM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors filed reckless homicide charges on Thursday against a Missouri semi driver for a highway construction zone... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 8:12:49 AM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Versailles man previously convicted of child molestation has been charged with possession of and promoting child pornography.... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 7:47:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA heard Missouri's appeal on Thursday after the school was handed a handful of penalties back in... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 6:49:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BRANSON - One year ago Friday, 17 were killed when a duck boat sank during a thunderstorm on Table Rock... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:01:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors filed reckless homicide charges on Thursday against a Missouri semi driver for a highway construction zone... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:09:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
5pm 80°
6pm 79°
7pm 77°
8pm 75°