EUREKA, Mo. – Communities all around our area are concerned about flash flooding after Friday’s storms. One of those worried communities is Eureka where flooding has caused massive problems multiple times.
As city leaders watch waterways around the town, they are working overtime trying to fix any drainage problems that could contribute to flash flooding. We were there as Eureka city crews worked to unclog a drain on Friday evening near the downtown area. A backhoe was called in to bust open the drain. Inside it crews found debris including a trash can. Eureka Mayor Sean Flower says keeping drains clear is critical to combatting flash flooding.
“That trash can is a big deal because it could cause flooding of all of our fields down here, a park, but it also stops the water from these neighborhoods getting out,” said Flower.
The Chief of the Eureka Fire Protection District, Greg Brown, says his department is on high alert for flash floods. Brown told us, “We brought extra people in just to staff the extra equipment of the swift water rescue assets.”
Eureka is no stranger to flooding. Mayor Flower says last year alone there were three flash flooding events. The high water causing big damage to downtown businesses. Flower says the city hired workers to clear out debris from Eureka’s two main creeks, improving drainage.
“We completely pulled all kind of stuff- car parts, engines, tires, debris, trash, logs. We pulled all of that stuff out of there, then revegetated it and cleaned it,” explained Flower.
Joe Boccardi’s Italian restaurant in downtown Eureka had water inside it twice last year from flash floods. The co-owner, Mario Boccardi, provided us video of the scene back in July when there was a significant amount of water inside the business. Boccardi believes the work that the city has done will help, but he still worries.
“Everybody`s flash flooding that never used to. So even with all the work they did there`s obviously still a lot of concern on how much water we`re expected to get this weekend that it will hold up which hope to god it does but you just never know,” said Boccardi.
Mayor Flower says the crews cleaning the two main creeks filled 100 dump trucks with debris. All of that work could be put to the test if Eureka sees a lot of rain from this latest round of storms.