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Sandbag removal begins in earnest in Eureka as life returns to normal

EUREKA, MO (KTVI) – All kinds of equipment and manpower were brought to bear to get rid of a quarter of a million sandbags that protected businesses and homes in Eureka for this week’s flooding.

After the sandbags were removed, the shovels and brooms were brought in. The used sandbags were piled high in a parking lot, while water was still being pumped from basements.

“I think I am an expert at sandbagging,” said Mario Boccardi, co-owner of Joe Boccardi’s Italian Restaurant.

At his restaurant, they were setting the tables and chopping vegetables as they prepared to reopen Saturday. The flooding cost them six days of business.

“Loss of business for a week. This a pretty busy restaurant; it’s going to definitely hurt,” Boccardi said.

Steve Parker’s shelter insurance office was hit hard, lot of drywall has been ripped out. The sandbags worked but an unknown drain under the floor let the water inside. Parker said, “This community is a great community and we all support each other.”

At Eureka High School, the main gym floor was ruined again, but it’s better than 2015, when all three gym floors were ruined. The superintendent said there’s a big reason why the school fared better this time.

“Mostly because we had a crew here 24 hours a day, especially the night when everything crested, so they could fight the water back,” Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost said.

The school district sustained $2.5 million in damages in the last flood. The district had to pay only the $1,000 deductible. They have the same deductible this time and, fortunately, their insurance rate did not go up.