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Flood no more: Southsiders create volunteer group to cleanup Contrary Creek

"If we don't get it cleaned up, it will happen again."

Posted: May 5, 2021 8:48 PM
Updated: May 6, 2021 11:35 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Cleanup efforts are in place for Contrary Creek in the Southside of St. Joseph.

Community members are done with the garbage and debris that continue to be dumped in Contrary Creek and do not want it to cause another flood. 

"If we don't get it cleaned up, it will happen again," said Erin Ganote who is organizing a volunteer group to clean the area.

In July of 2020, the Southside of St. Joseph went underwater due to debris filling up Contrary Creek. It flooded the entire area with the main point being at Marie and Parker street.

"Everybody down here lost their homes or their neighbors lost their homes," said Ganote. "And we have come together and we want to prevent that this year."

A Facebook page called "Contrary Creek-The Forgotten Federally Protected Waterway" has been created to push volunteer efforts from the community. Posts include a list of supplies needed for the project, calling more volunteers, and asking local leaders to step up and help.

Ganote said, "We have Shane Hunter, we have In-n-Out Tree Service, and I just spoke to Brian Myers-Council Member Brian Myers--he is coming down today to take pictures and submit it to the city council and see if he can get them to help us out which would be great."

According to Erin Ganote, she said the plan is to begin on the first Saturday in June and to move slowly up the creek for however long it takes. "What we're doing is taking all the dead trees, all the trash out. We plan to mulch the lumber--the wood that we get; sell it, recap the money that we used out of our pockets to get this started to keep cleaning up portions of the creek. Because it just doesn't start here, it goes all the way up. And if we can get it started, we can prevent the flooding."

Ganote said what people can do right now is visit Facebook to learn more information and to contact her or Aaron Armstrong on Facebook. She also added that all volunteers will need to sign a safety waiver.

"We need chain-saw and winches. We really need a crane with a grabber to grab the heavy logs and set them up. And just willing bodies," said Ganote.

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There is a chance for scattered showers this afternoon across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, however a better chance for showers and storms will return tonight into the overnight hours. A few storms could be on the strong to severe side overnight. Scattered showers and storms will continue off and on mainly through the morning and afternoon hours on Saturday. Temperatures will be much cooler on Saturday with highs in the mid 80s. Dry and sunny conditions will take over on Sunday and continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal.
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