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SOUTHSIDE FLOOD 1 YEAR LATER: Victims recount the aftermath of last year's flood

Southside flood victims look back on the one year anniversary of the flood.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 9:44 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 10:23 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It has been one year since a heavy rainstorm sent Contrary Creek out of it’s banks and into hundreds of homes in the city’s southside.

July, 20 of 2020 is a date southside residents will likely never forget.

Seven and a half inches of rain, along with brush and other debris dumped into the creek creating a jam that caused water to flood the southside. 

The sudden flash flood brought life as southside residents knew it to a complete halt, neighborhoods filled up with water in less that five minutes. 

"It just happened so fast," Ron Baker, flood victim said. 

Baker and his wife Elaine said they had no time to get anything out.

"By the time I got the door open the water looked like a tsunami coming in," Elaine said. "It was just swirling."

The day was already eventful for Brenda shores who lives down the street from the Bakers, she was receiving chemotherapy treatment at the KU Medical Center early that morning.

Shores sad her husband discovered their home have been overtaken by the flood waters.

"He got into the house and we had probably 4 1/2 ft. of water in the house that day," She said. 

Shores and her husband each lost a dog in the flood after they were left alone in their kennels when the flood hit. 

"It was heartbreaking for me," Shores said. "It’s hard to even explain."

The waters receded just about as quickly as they came in, but that’s where the real work began. The cleanup effort wasn’t a sprint but a marathon, leaving many displaced for a time.

The Bakers said they stayed in a hotel for nearly six months after the flood, they moved back into their home on New Year's Eve 2020. 

One year later, southside homeowners are showing progress with their repairs.

"We’re getting it as close as we possibly can to the way it used to be," Shores said. "It’ll never be the same again."

"You look ahead," Baker said. "You gotta stop looking behind you and look ahead."

St. Joseph
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Just a little bit more sunshine today across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The air quality is much better today with the haze starting to clear out of the area. Tonight will be cool and calm with lows in the mid 60s and light winds. There is a slight chance for isolated showers tonight and tomorrow afternoon, although most of the area should stay dry. Dry and sunny conditions continue into the weekend as temperatures start to warm up again. Highs look to stay in the 80s until midweek and then start to climb into the 90s as we head into the weekend.
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