STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

SOUTHSIDE FLOOD 1 YR LATER: City and county leaders reflect on flood response

The mayor, county commissioner and the superintendent of city street reflect on the southside flood.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 11:25 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 10:22 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As the water from overflowing Contrary creek rushed into neighborhoods, city departments rushed into action.

Their efforts, preceded by county commissioners who saw the danger first when inspecting bridges beforehand in response to the heavy rain.

"When we got to Route JJ, we found the water was coming up and rushing pretty quick!" Ron Hook, Western Buchanan County Commissioner said. "Water had already toppled the banks and started out on Parker rd and going across Olmeda and Marie St."

From there the flood water went into the city sewers, which the streets department's superintendent said stood no chance against that much water.

"That amount of rain in that short of time is just so abnormal," Keven Schneider, Superintendent, St. Joseph City Streets and Infrastructure said. "You can’t plan for it."

Schneider said the city's sewers functioned normally that day and were just full.

The filled sewers only added to the problem, sending water throughout neighborhoods further north from the creek.
The flood left people with not only damaged homes and cars behind, but also frustration over a lack of substantial assistance.

Missouri's State Emergency Management Association (SEMA) deemed damage caused by the flood to be too insignificant to qualify for assistance. 

St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray shared his frustration with the decision. 

"I wrote a letter to the Governor and also to our congressional delegation," He said.  "I didn't hear a whole lot from the powers that be."

McMurray admitted his response to the flood wasn’t without fault,

"I think communication could have been better," He said. 

A year later, McMurray and other officials want flood victims to know they aren’t being forgotten.

"I don’t think the south end is left behind," McMurray said. "Our best days are ahead of us in the south side and in the city as a whole."

In response to the flood,  the city has waived landfill tipping fees for flood related waste. The city streets department has spent the past year focusing on ditches in the southside to improve drainage.

More than $400,000 was spent by the city on clean efforts after the flood.

St. Joseph
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 81°
Maryville
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Savannah
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
Cameron
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 80°
Atchison
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 84°
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.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events