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Hear about some locals loving recent heavy rains and flooding - KOAM TV 7

Hear about some locals loving recent heavy rains and flooding

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Floating logs and sticks can be beneficial to aquatic life Floating logs and sticks can be beneficial to aquatic life
Joplin, MO - Talk about all the rain we've been getting!

No, really, lets talk about it.

"Been a problem a little bit with mowing," says Joplin resident Lori Anderson.  "I need to mow today.  If I don't this week, I'm going to have a problem and it's going to take me twice as long!"

"I live on a hill, and I have to go a long way around (with all the roads closed)," says Lamar resident James Greever.

Enter in some reverse psychology, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"People always think of flooding as water in the wrong place, or bad devastation.  But flooding is a very natural thing," says Kevin Badgley with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Experts say as with other natural things, there's some really good so called "give and takes."  For example, sticks and logs flowing downstream are real treats for wildlife.

"It'll actually sink to the bottom, and then those nutrients from that wood decompose.  And then that provides new nutrients for either some moss or something that'll be growing on the bottom, or some of those aquatic insects.  Fish and things like that can then hide underneath that," says Badgley.

Fish love water runoff.

"Once it gets out of that river channel, some of those small fish can go back and access some of the back waters.  It's a perfect nursery for them to then go ahead and reproduce and not be eaten in the main river channel," says Badgley.

So what does aquatic life taking advantage of flooding mean for people?  Healthy fish means healthy water plants and, experts even say, health humans.

"We wonder why we have so many E. coli problems and nutrient problems in our water.  Those plants that are out there in those flood plains are just like a big sponge.  They'll absorb those chemicals that could be harmful.  They'll actually break them down," says Badgley.

Turns out, there's a good side to flooding.

"No, it's not hurting everything," says Anderson.

Environmental experts say while flooding during this time of year is beneficial, it can have the opposite effect during the warmer summer months of the year.  Water runoffs from hot concrete and asphalt can put warm water into many rivers and creeks, which is not good for marine life.  

Environmentalists also say it's especially important to not litter creeks and other waterways during floods, as strong currents can further spread contamination.

There are many resources for how to plant a "water garden" that acts like a sponge for yards, absorbing excess runoffs.  Click here for one such resource.

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