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St. Charles set to deal with driftwood logjam on Missouri River

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – High water from recent flooding is leaving behind both an eyesore and a tourist attraction on the St. Charles riverfront.

It`s a logjam of driftwood the size of a football field.

The collection has been growing ever since the Missouri River crested at 31.7 feet two weeks ago. And even through the river is going down; none of the driftwood is going down the river, because it`s trapped by the walkways and barge left over from the Goldenrod Showboat.

'If they clean it away, it would be wonderful if they use the wood for something,' said Louise Jezierski, who comes to the riverfront every day to feed the birds.

But Daryl Hampel, the St. Charles Street Supervisor says the wood is too full of sand and water to be worth saving. When the river goes down, a dredging contractor comes in with barges to send the wood back on its journey.

'They will come straight in and try to push some of it,' Hampel said. 'A lot of times they will turn the boats around and put the propellers at full throttle and cause the water to churn up and that breaks it all loose.'

The last time the city experienced a large driftwood logjam was in 2013. During that event some of the logs slammed into the railings of the walkways, damaging the metal.

'Ironically the city council approved earlier this year to go through the process of getting (the walkways and barge) removed.'

It can cost as much as $10,000 to break up the jam, which they expect to start doing later this week.