Flood victim: "It's just stuff" - KOAM TV 7

Flood victim: "It's just stuff"


Reported April 27, 2011 at 5:50 PM CST by Angela Garcia:  Residents in McDonald County return home after evacuations from flooding and begin the clean up process.  Some residents in face thousands of dollars worth of damage from this week's flooding.

All of the homes on Easy Street in the town of Noel experienced flooding they haven't seen in nearly 70 years.

Many of the residents have been able to return home to clean up the damage but water still remains from the floods.

Penny Sims home sits hundreds of feet from Mill Creek, but water is still in the home from the flooding.

"We had approximately eight feet surrounding it - three of that feet got inside because it was level, on stilts," Sims says.  "Everything floated.  I had two refrigerators that floated in my house, washer, dryer.  It's completely destroyed downstairs.  My neighbor had five feet.  Hers got condemned.  I'm waiting for the adjustor to come."

As for the damaged property and getting it replaced...

"You know what, it's just stuff," says Sims.

Sims says she's just glad no one was hurt and that furniture can be replaced while a lost life is permanent.

Not everyone in the area experienced flooding but many were stuck with no where to go.

"These bridges over here were covered and the main bridge downtown was covered," says McDonald County resident Jeff Flynn.  "You get over (Highway) 90 as you go out, you got Mill Creek to deal with again, you can't get out of here."

Reported April 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM CST by Angela Greenwood:  It's one of the worst flood McDonald County, Missouri has seen in 70 years say emergency officials.  For the homes that have already been hit emergency officials are working to help with sandbags, evacuations, and say they will likely open a shelter tonight for those displaced.

McDonald County Emergency Management Director Gregg Sweeton says so far all residents have escaped injury but there's no escaping the massive amount of damage that will follow this flood.

"Just seeing what I've seen today, I think there's going to be a tremendous amount," Sweeton says.  "The biggest flood we had was in 1941.  So this may be one of those type of floods, it may very well be one of our worst floods."

Vehicles, cabins and patios lie submerged under water in Pineville's Elk River.

Many roads in southwest Missouri have been closed, at least 12 of those in McDonald County.  And Michael Middleton of the Missouri Department of Transportation says if the rain continues the situation will likely get worse before it gets better.

"Just be cautious and as the night time comes across it's going to be a bigger issue, so please if you don't need to be out this evening, it's not worth it," Middleton says.

Homes are in danger as water levels in Elk River are expected to crest ten feet above flood stage.

"It's going to cause a lot of damage in the area," says Anderson, Missouri resident Ellsworth Thrasher.  "I can already see something down here with this RV and van sitting here in the water."

Emergency officials say close to 75 homes have been evacuated in McDonald County alone.  As the water continues to creep inside the homes Piney Point, residents are scrambling to keep their belongings safe."

Bruce Boatright owns a cabin at Piney Point and spent the morning preparing for the worst.

"It's pretty wicked, it's just overwhelming what Mother Nature can do and to see how high that river is up," says Boatright.  "We just put everything up as high as we could onto the kitchen tables, and try to get stuff up off the floor as high as we can.  It's not in the cabin yet but the way it's looking like it's liable to get in there."

McDonald County officials say they will assess the damage next week.  That is when they will determine if they need FEMA assistance.

They tell us 20 residents who evacuated from their homes will stay in a shelter at Noel fire station tonight.

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