Flood Forces Two Dozen Res­cues

TWO DAYS OF HEAVY RAIN SWELL CREEKS, RIVERS; WORSE THAN 2011’S FLOOD

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - By Rita Greene

More than two dozen mis­sions to res­cue peo­ple from flooded ve­hi­cles and homes were car­ried out around McDon­ald County, ac­cord­ing to McDon­ald County Emer­gency Man­age­ment Di­rec­tor Gregg Sweeten.

Sweeten, who said that up to 14 inches of rain fell in some parts of the county over the week­end, was happy to re­port that there were no fa­tal­i­ties or in­juries.

“We started is­su­ing warn­ings about the im­pend­ing flood­ing Satur­day night, Dec. 26,” Sweeten said. “We put out in­for­ma­tion on so­cial me­dia. We met with the (U.S. Army) Corps of En­gi­neers and (Na­tional) Weather Ser­vice per­son­nel work­ing to­gether to get the word out.”

“This flood was big­ger than the flood in 2011 at the time of the Jo­plin tor­nado,” Sweeten said, “and the third largest the county has ever seen.”

He com­mended the Noel Fire Depart­ment be­cause they went around and warned peo­ple, which pre­vented many res­cues in flood­prone ar­eas.

“Ten fam­i­lies in Noel can­not re­turn to their homes yet and 10 homes were flooded in An­der­son,” he said Tues­day af­ter­noon. “There was a to­tal of 30 to 40 homes in the county with flood dam­age.”

Sweeten said the Haven 55 restau­rant was not flooded, al­though the wa­ter was right up against the back of the build­ing.

Ve­hi­cle res­cues were nec­es­sary be­cause some peo­ple did not take warn­ings se­ri­ously, he said. A few even bar­reled through the bar­ri­cades set up in flooded ar­eas. Those de­ci­sions re­sulted in fire depart­ment/EMS per­son­nel hav­ing to risk their own safety to res­cue them.

“Our main goal,” Sweeten said, “was to get the in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the im­pend­ing flood­ing out as soon as pos­si­ble to pre­vent in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties.”

“The main dam­age in Pineville was at the ball park,” Sweeten said. “It will prob­a­bly cost ap­prox­i­mately $3,000 to $5,000 to re­pair it.”

Pineville Mar­shal Chris Owens said there were no is­sues dur­ing the flood­ing re­gard­ing ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents. Owens said the Pineville Fire Depart­ment was run­ning non­stop.

An­der­son Fire Chief Shelby Turner said flood­ing did not cause any ma­jor dam­age in An­der­son.

Turner said some peo­ple had to be re­cov­ered by boat on Sun­day and there were mi­nor is­sues of cars be­ing stranded, but no ac­ci­dents or in­juries.

The only street closed, as of Mon­day, was Jef­fer­son Street at the low-wa­ter cross­ing at Beaver Branch; oth­er­wise, all streets are open, he said.

In Noel, a ma­jor­ity of streets in town were un­der wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to Fire Chief Bran­don Bar­rett. Fire­fight­ers per­formed 16 wa­ter res­cues, and the town had to set up a shel­ter, as many res­i­dents were dis­placed by the flood, Bar­rett said.

“Ev­ery road from Noel ex­cept for 90 High­way to­ward Jane was closed since Satur­day evening. We’re just now get­ting some opened up,” he said Mon­day morn­ing. “It’s rained con­stant for the last two days.”

He said this was the big­gest flood in re­cent mem­ory, worse than the one in 2011.

Good­man did not re­port any flood-re­lated prob­lems.

Re­porters Rachel Dick­er­son and Me­gan Davis con­trib­uted to this story.

KENT MARTS MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions in down­town Noel drew the at­ten­tion of peo­ple out Sun­day to take pho­tos of the flood that ham­mered south­west Mis­souri.

RITA GREENE MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Flood­ing threat­ens Haven 55 the restau­rant.

restau­rant at Pineville as the wa­ters ap­proach the back of

KENT MARTS MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Us­ing the Shadow Lake pav­il­ion in Noel to get out of the rain Sun­day, a man takes a photo of But­ler Creek, which along with Elk River, flooded parts of down­town.

RITA GREENE MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Flood­ing at Kozy Kamp Camp­ground in Pineville af­ter

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