Residents concerned over flooding on the Meramec River pack into meeting

KIRKWOOD, MO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hoping to minimize future flood damage by sharing flood prevention information with residents and representative of local governments.

The agency shared information during a public meeting at the Powder Valley Nature Reserve in Kirkwood Wednesday night.  A second meeting will be held at the Eureka Fire District Training Center in Pacific Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Some property owners say the flooding in recent years has been far worse than they have ever seen.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Fenton resident Sue Haskins.  “I have small business out of my home. We have a home daycare for 27.  We never had water for 25 years and all of a sudden we got water.”

She came to the meeting looking for answers.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers focused on offering ways to help protect property and shared information about flood plain management.  The agency is also partnering with other agencies to take a closer look at the recent flood events along the Meramec River.

“We’ll be taking a look at the lower Meramec basin, making a hazard assessment and what are the impacts to the area, what are the associated problems and what actions need to be taken to minimize future flood risk,” said Shawn Sullivan, a strategic planning coordinator with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Information on various ways to protect property were shared.  Ideas included ways to block floodwaters into homes, ways to elevate homes and ways to develop areas in a way that don’t eliminate as much greens space so flood waters can soak into the ground.

“We’ve had 3 major floods basically in the past 18 months here, so we really want to talk to people about how they can reduce their flood risk and how we can help,” said Amanda Kruse, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.