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					Stemming the Tide of Flood Losses

                       Stories of Success from
                      The History of Missouri’s
                      Flood Mitigation Program

Missouri State Emergency Management Agency
This document was produced by
the Missouri State Emergency
Management Agency (SEMA).

 Special Acknowledgement to
this report’s primary authors,
  Timothy and Iris Roberts.

Photographs by SEMA, the Mis-
souri Department of Transporta-
tion, and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) —
Excelsior Springs Photos by Liz
Roll, FEMA National.

                                        Open space in St. Louis County.
State Emergency Management
            P. O. Box 116
      Jefferson City, MO 65102                                                Table of Contents
            Homepage:                       Overview of the Missouri Flood Buyout Program ...................... 3
                                            Breaking Missouri’s Repetitive Flood Cycle ............................... 8
                                            Alexandria and Clark County ..................................................... 13
 e-mail:            Arnold ............................................................................................. 16
                                            Buchanan County .......................................................................... 19
      Stemming the Tide                     Cape Girardeau ............................................................................. 21
       of Flood Losses:                     Cedar City ...................................................................................... 24
        Stories of Success                  Commerce ...................................................................................... 27
         from the History of                Excelsior Springs ........................................................................... 30
Missouri’s Flood Mitigation Program
                                            Hannibal ......................................................................................... 32
          Mel Carnahan                      Hartsburg and Boone County ..................................................... 34
    Governor, State of Missouri             Hermann ........................................................................................ 36
                                            Jefferson County (including Festus and Crystal City) ............. 38
            Gary Kempker
Director, Department of Public Safety
                                            Lincoln County and Winfield ...................................................... 42
                                            Neosho ............................................................................................ 45
        MG John D. Havens                   Pattsonburg .................................................................................... 47
         Adjutant General                   Perry County ................................................................................. 49
                                            Rhineland ....................................................................................... 51
         Jerry B. Uhlmann
          Director, SEMA                    St. Charles County ........................................................................ 54
                                            Ste. Genevieve ................................................................................ 58
      Beaufort “Buck” Katt,                 St. Louis and St. Louis County .................................................... 63
     Assistant Director, SEMA               St. Mary .......................................................................................... 68
            Destin Frost
                                            Wakenda ........................................................................................ 70
   State Hazard Mitigation Officer          Warren County and Marthasville ............................................... 72
                                            Conclusion ...................................................................................... 74
       Susie Stonner, Editor
            Overview of the
     Missouri Flood Buyout Program

      From April of 1993 to May of 1995, the State of Missouri experienced
unprecedented flooding of virtually all areas of the state. This situation
resulted in Presidential Declarations on five separate occasions. These
declarations became the basis for rather large dollar amounts of assistance for
individuals and public entities alike. As provided by the Stafford Act, hazard
mitigation grant program funds also became available on a formula basis for
declared states. The focus of this report is the process and policies that evolved
in Missouri to put these mitigation funds to use in the shortest possible time.
Hopefully, this report will be useful as an historic document, but more
importantly, it will serve as a “blueprint” for future similar programs should
flooding again reach the 1993 and 1995 levels.

                                                                                     Page 3
       rior to the 1993 major flood      ing detail was received. Project scopes    since determined and followed a bet-
       event, the Missouri State         ranged from very large structural          ter procedure wherein SEMA person-
       Emergency       Management        projects, including levees, storm wa-      nel travel to each buyout location to
Agency (SEMA) had, for unknown           ter drainage systems, and a buyout         work the process. Applicants also were
reasons, passed the responsibility for   project for one dwelling. The total        informed that all projects for other than
the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program      project requests exceeded $300 mil-        residential buyouts would be passed on
(HMGP) to the Department of Natural      lion. The dollar amount and diversity      to Missouri’s Department of Economic
Resources. With the 1993 flood event,    of the projects increased to a signifi-    Development for subsequent resolu-
that responsibility was returned to      cant degree the already difficult task     tion in the event that funds should be-
SEMA. Arguably, it should always         of determining which projects to pur-      come available through that channel at
remain the responsibility of SEMA.       sue.                                       a later date.
The position is enhanced by the fact
that Missouri has funded a State              During late 1993 and early 1994,      Beginning in very late December
Hazard Mitigation Officer Position       FEMA Director James Lee Witt and 1993, and in January and February
within the SEMA personnel structure.     others began to place emphasis on ac- 1994, meetings were scheduled with
With that as an aside, the State was     quisition of flood damaged property. the affected communities to review
faced with an unprecedented task of                                            projects for possible funding recom-
administering a hazard mitigation                                              mendations to FEMA Region VII.
program that eventually exceeded                   Given the fact that         These meetings were hosted by a very
$100 million. The purpose of this           the State only had $30             small select committee empowered by
overview is to provide a narrative                                             the Administration to review all project
concerning how the various processes        million available, and that        proposals and make specific recom-
and policies were developed and put         buyout projections were            mendations to the Governor’s Office.
into place.                                 exceeding that figure by a         Committee members included Mr.
                                            three to one margin, the           Dick Moore, former Executive Direc-
     As the individual and public assis-                                       tor of the Missouri Housing Develop-
tance efforts during the later summer       decision was made to focus         ment Commission; Mr. Dick Gross,
of 1993 progressed, it became obvious       the HMGP effort on per-            then Director of the Missouri Housing
that the State would have significant       manent primary residen-            Development Commission; Mr. Terry
funding for HMGP activities. An early       tial structures. Necessity         Martin, Community Development
estimate was $10-12 million. At the                                            Block Grant Coordinator; and Mr.
same time, the U.S. Congress began to       forced the exclusion of            Buck Katt, SEMA, and the buyout
address various flood assistance issues     business properties, vaca-         project coordinator for Missouri. This
with one of the major efforts being the     tion homes, mobile homes,          small but effective committee listened
enactment of the “Volkmer Bill” which       and building elevations.           to all proposals and took action in sev-
changed the formula for HMGP fund-                                             eral ways on each project.
ing. That bill became law in mid-De-
cember 1993, and the HMGP fund                                                           The committee recommended that
forcast was suddenly $30 million. The A review of the projects received re-         some projects be forwarded to FEMA
awesome HMGP task was now even a vealed that they included requests for             for funding without modification. This
greater challenge.                         “buyouts” that would cost $100 mil-      recommendation was applied to
                                           lion. The “fog factor” was now being     projects that were “clean,” meaning
     Following this realization, the diminished to some degree and a logi-          projects that met all necessary criteria
State’s first overt act was to send a let- cal approach to project approval         including a reasonable cost benefit. (At
ter to known eligible applicants inform- emerged.                                   that time, FEMA had no cost benefit
ing them of the program with a further                                              model guidance available; the State of
comment requesting communities to              All the eligible applicants who      Missouri created its own to gain at least
submit project applications. No further were proposing acquisition were told        a basic insight regarding the cost ben-
guidance was provided - no standard ap- to revise their applications for residen-   efit for specific projects. Since that
plication or direction regarding the tial buyouts only and to be prepared to        time, FEMA has developed several
State’s priorities was given. Conse- travel to Jefferson City to present their      computer-based models and continues
quently, a “flood of requests” in vary- applications. In hindsight, SEMA has        to refine them.)

Page 4
     In addition, the committee sug-       group traveled to Pattonsburg, Mis-          FEMA VII officials were invited
gested that certain projects be modi-      souri, to announce approval of $3.8     to attend these meetings; to their credit,
fied. This came about especially for       million for acquisition and relocation  they did attend many of them - a course
communities that had included              of properties in what is now referred   of action that continues to be advisable
churches, schools, and commercial          to as “Old Town.” By all standards to   for future programs. The emphasis at
buildings in their list of projects.       measure progress for such projects      these meetings was on the controls and
Coupled with the foregoing, some           available at that time, the effort was  requirements that would have to be met
communities had commercial projects        acclaimed a great success. Lessons      before funds could or would be re-
so large that they would have required     learned since that time, if applied ap- leased. For example, funds could be
75-100 percent of all the funding avail-   propriately, can shorten the buyout     requested based upon anticipated
able to Missouri. The committee be-        process by several months for future    needs. This prevented a cash flow
lieved that funding only one or two        disaster events.                        problem for small communities that
very large projects would not have                                                 would have had to borrow money if the
proven to be the most enhancing for            Once the projects were processed approach had been on a reimbursable
the HMGP statewide effort. Many            and approved for funding, SEMA’s basis.
projects were therefore only forwarded     management emphasis shifted to the
to FEMA after the scopes were ad-          execution of the projects. Subpart N,        SEMA, however, made sure that
justed. The committee also rejected a      Section 206.433 establishes in part the the anticipated need was based on spe-
small number of projects because they      responsibility of the State - the cific acquisitions - i.e., specific dwell-
largely did not meet the requirements      “grantee” once projects are funded. ings to be purchased, along a specifi-
of Section 206, 434 CFR 44.                Section 206.433(a) reads:               cally required time line. This process
                                                                                   was extremely successful, and also
     The process moved quickly, at            (a) Grantee: The state will be       should be followed for future HMGP
least for that time frame. Methods have       the guarantee to which funds         projects.
now been devised, which if followed           are awarded and will be ac-
properly would cause the process to           countable for the use of these            Another item that received intense
move even more rapidly. When                  funds. There may be                  management, once communities were
“buyouts” are anticipated, all efforts        subgrantees within the state         funded, was a process that became
must focus on shortening the amount           government.                          known as a Duplication of Benefits
of time involved in the administrative                                             (DOB) determination. CFR 44, Section
process. Homeowners, when buyouts                                                  206.434 (f) is quoted as follows:
are addressed to them, have only two               The process moved
questions - “When and how much?”             quickly, at least for that                 “Section 404 funds cannot be
They perceive all other issues, espe-        time frame. Methods have                   used as a substitute or replace-
cially those that generate delays, to be     now been devised, which if                 ment to fund projects or pro-
the result of bureaucratic inefficiency.     followed properly will aid                 grams that are available under
                                             the process to move even                   other Federal authorities, ex-
     Applicant briefings and reviews         more rapidly.                              cept under limited circum-
really began in earnest in early Janu-                                                  stances in which there are ex-
ary 1994. By July 1994, all projects,                                                   traordinary threats to lives,
51 in number, were approved for fund-                                                   public health or safety or im-
ing. The Bellefontaine Neighbors       SEMA’s management took the                       proved property.”
project was among the first to be  foregoing at face value and therefore
                                   established various policies and pro-
funded and the first to be completed.                                                    The depth to which the above ap-
On July 9, 1994, Governor Carnahan,cedures which were designed to ensure             plied to an actual acquisition of a
FEMA Director James Lee Witt, and  proper use and accountability of funds.           dwelling was not understood by many,
                                   As each community was approved for
others participated in a ceremony at                                                 nor did all agree with the policy once
Bellefontaine Neighbors in which   funding, a mandatory meeting was                  it was explained. To the specific credit
                                   scheduled with local officials. The pur-
homeowners for 22 properties received                                                of FEMA VII, a special action office
checks for their buyout property.  pose of these meetings was to convey              was established to “clear” the DOB is-
                                   the process to be followed for actual             sues - which had to be accomplished
   Demolition of the site followed acquisitions, draw-down of funds, and             for each property to be acquired. The
immediately. On the same day, the resolution of other issues that surfaced.          clearance process had to be completed

                                                                                                                     Page 5
before any specific offers could/would          Even this process had flaws be-        lem, questions could be cleared up rap-
be made to owners. Small Business         cause many appraisers wanted to use          idly. A good case in point involved the
Administration (SBA) loans, for ex-       comparables located outside of a flood       official close out papers; the docu-
ample, had to be paid off to the extent   hazard area. This, of course, created a      ments, usually no more than two pages,
possible before a homeowner was paid      false value since the property in ques-      which contained a summary of the ac-
for their buyout property. In addition,   tion was subject to flooding, a fact that    tual property transaction. Earlier in the
all proceeds from National Flood In-      in turn surely had a negative impact         process, communities were told to for-
surance Policy (NFIP) claims were de-     on worth. Even though SEMA used              ward close out paperwork directly to
ductible unless owners could show         board-certified appraisers, problems         FEMA Region VII. If the regional of-
proof that funds had been spent on the    still surfaced. To secure expert advice      fice received a close out with an irregu-
dwelling in question.                     on disputed properties and to settle dis-    larity - maybe a departure from state
                                          putes in a credible fashion, the State       policy - FEMA’s regional office had to
    The important point to be made        retained an independent appraiser with       call the state for clarification.
here, however, is that the only efficient a known favorable reputation. This
manner to “clear” DOBs was for            process worked. Not all property own-             This added to the delays associated
FEMA to do so because of their ac-        ers got what they wanted, and some           with processing the action. The state,
cess to NFIP, SBA, and other data         eventually refused the final buyout of-      of course, was suffering from an unin-
bases. Another key lesson learned that    fer, but at least the process was one that   tentionally self-inflicted problem, be-
surfaced in this process was that ap-     could be explained successfully to           cause in trying to make the process as
praisals had to be in hand before DOB     elected officials and others who had an      easy for local communities as possible,
information was released to               interest. The message is: use a board        it had allowed an unfortunate bypass
homeowners and community officials.       certified appraiser only and have a pro-     of necessary information to flow
Strange as it may seem, the value of a    cess to settle disputes.                     around itself. The message here is
property changed once the actual de-                                                   simple - all information simply must
ductions became known - if the ap-            Several additional related issues        flow through the state coordinator.
praisal was not already in the file.      also are worth a mentioning. The DOB         This may seem like a lot of work and
                                          process must for the sake of adequate        needless layering, but most assuredly,
    The process by which the value of control of the situation be processed            the effort will pay big dividends in the
a dwelling was determined is another through the SEMA. With the need for               long term.
area deserving of special comment. At a speedy resolution of the situation for
the outset, pre-flood fair market value earlier projects, communities were en-                 The message here is
was to be the price paid to an owner. couraged to pass DOB requests directly
What was not clear was the process to FEMA. In return, FEMA would then                   simple – all information
used to determine this value and the pass its response directly to the request-          simply must flow through
method by which the inevitable dis- ing community. This process in fact                  the state coordinator. . .
putes would be resolved. Very early, was counter-productive in that it                   most assuredly, the effort
some communities were allowed to use slowed progress. FEMA Region VII’s
the accessed fair market value plus a DOB office was very small - two                    will pay big dividends in the
factor which offset any recognized people at the most.                                   long term.
community-wide shortfalls noted in the
assessment. Although this approach            Because of this, communities at
                                                                                                  Buck Katt,
worked for the most part, it became times had to wait several weeks for
increasingly clear that the most appro- FEMA’s response - a delay that was                     Deputy Director
priate process was to use board-certi- unknown to the state. Many times, once              Missouri State Emergency
fied appraisers to establish values.      SEMA became involved with a prob-                  Management Agency

Page 6
     The 1993 disaster related buyout effort was considered a success even in 1994. In fact, however, the effort had its detractors and
skeptics. Negative comments for the most part centered around a few issues – destruction or reduction of the visibility of communities;
the inability of business to survive if the residents should be relocated away from them; and the loss of tax base revenues should residents
move to a different community entirely.

      The state understood these critics but chose to stay the course. Events of May - June 1995 served to answer almost completely these
critics. During this time frame, many of the communities devastated by the 1993 flood once again suffered under the raging surge of the
“Wide Missouri” and the “Mighty Mississippi.” Recorded flood waters in many locations were the third highest on record.

    In Cape Girardeau and Commerce, Missouri, the 1995 flood waters actually reached levels above the 1993 crest. Following the 1995
event, Missouri officials wisely produced a small but very effective paper entitled “Out of Harm’s Way: the Missouri Buyout Program.”

    This paper serves to showcase the 1993-1995 effort. This small but powerful piece is significant in that it page by page records the
reduction in misery and effort that is apparent when the buyout effort for 1993 is considered against the 1995 event.

                            Buck Katt, Deputy Director, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency

                                                                                                                                     Page 7
Above: Neosho city parklands
converted from previously fre-
quently flooded areas. Right: Com-
munity park in Levasy (Jackson

Buyout Program Breaks the Repetitive Flood Cycle in....

                    Frequently Flooded
                   Missouri Communities
                                               LEFT: Open space overlooking the
                                               Mississippi River in Commerce
                                               (Scott County). Below: Recre-
                                               ational pavilion in Fredericktown
                                               (Madison County).

Page 8
         xperts disagree about how
         big the Flood of 1993
         really was. Various re-
searchers rank it as the second,
third, or fourth largest flood in
Missouri history.1 Nobody ar-
gues, though, that in terms of
property destruction and econom-
ic loss it was the worst. Terms like
“hundred year flood” and “feet
above flood stage” are vague ways
to measure magnitude, since some
“hundred year floods” occurred in
the same place in both 1993 and
1995,2 and the government has
periodically adjusted the heights
that it considers a “flood stage” at
most locations in the 136 years
since it instituted that kind of
measurement.3 It is safest, there-
fore, to ignore these calculations
of magnitude and to concentrate
instead on what is certain: the
flood of 1993 ruined more crop
                                                                        Former Cedar City during the ‘93 floods.
land, destroyed more residences and businesses, and cost the
taxpayers more money than any other flood in the state’s
long history.
                                                                      Damage Estimates for 1993 Midwest Flooding
          In August, 1993, the New York Times published                          in Millions of Dollars
statistics of flood damage in nine Midwestern states
                                                                   State           Total Damage      Agriculture Damage
including Missouri. The statistics for Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,     Missouri            3,000                1,800
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South                 Iowa                2,200                1,200
Dakota, and Wisconsin clearly show the unfortunate fact            Illinois            1,535                  605
that Missouri suffered more damage in terms of dollars than        North Dakota        1,500                  705
any other state.4 This is not surprising because both the          Minnesota           1,023                  800
Mississippi and Missouri Rivers flow through the state.            Wisconsin             909                  800
However, between 1927 and 1993, the federal, state and             South Dakota          595                  595
local efforts had variously built 742 flood control levees         Kansas                574                  434
throughout the state. This fact perhaps led some Missourians       Nebraska              347                  292
to believe that it was safe to build homes and to plant crops    covered with water and their bounty was ruined.6 Some
on these floodplains.5 By 1993, Missourians had built over       counties were hit especially hard. Flood waters covered 43%
216,000 households on the state’s floodplains in the form of     of St. Charles County for instance.7 This extensive damage
either single family dwellings, apartments, or trailers.         was made worse by exceptionally heavy rains, which caused
During the 1993 flood, 37,000 people who lived within these      this flood to last for eight months—longer than any other in
areas were forced to leave their homes. Over 12,000 homes        Missouri history. During the five year period that preceded
were damaged and over 3.1 million acres of cropland,             1993, Kansas City averaged 13.39 inches of rainfall between
representing 34% of Missouri’s overall cropland, were            May and the end of July. In 1993, however, the same three

                                                                                                                     Page 9
month period brought 24.92 inches. In      Missouri’s Governor Mel Carnahan            $134.9 million available to the nine
St. Louis, the five year average for the   and officials at the Missouri State         Midwest states that had been devastat-
same period was 10.90 inches and in        Emergency Management Agency are             ed by the 1993 flood. Missouri alone
1993 the May through July average          determined to take a new approach to        received $30 million. A supplemental
was 15.76.8                                minimizing the impact of floods on          appropriations bill from the Depart-
                                           Missouri citizens, which would also         ment of Housing and Urban Develop-
         These high levels of rainfall     reduce the economic impact on               ments (HUD) Community Develop-
were matched by equally high costs to      taxpayers from floods that are certain      ment Block Grants (CDBG) added $41
the state in terms of rescuing and         to occur in the future.                     million to the total amount available. In
providing emergency services for                                                       addition, the Federal Emergency Man-
flood victims, building emergency                   Their solution was the creation    agement Agency (FEMA) supplied
levees and later repairing damages,        of the Missouri Community Buyout            money for the demolition of structures
cleaning up, and providing for flood       Program, a plan that removed the threat     that had been deemed a public
victims return to normal living. The       of repeated flooding from people’s          danger.15 The money generated by this
37,000 Missouri families whose homes       lives by simply offering them a means       legislation was specifically earmarked
were damaged or destroyed received a       to leave their ruined homes and move        to buyout property on the floodplains.
total of over $72.9 million dollars in     out of the floodplain. These “at risk”      An important provision of this econom-
emergency relief payments: $41.7           properties would be turned into public      ic help was that the state would have to
million in Disaster Housing (DH)           land that would not need to be protected    match the hazard mitigation money on
assistance, $23.4 million in Individual    from future floods. The idea was not        a 75% to 25% ratio.16 Congress would
and Family Grants (IFG) for uninsured      new; in fact, it had been available since   later make other, separate money
homeowners, and $7.8 million in            Congress had passed the Robert T.           available to help floodplain businesses
disaster unemployment payments. In         Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergen-       impacted by the flood.17
addition to these payments, Missouri       cy Assistance Act of 1974.13 However,
businesses needed $40.1 million            before 1993, victims living in the
through Small Business Administra-         floodplains were reluctant to take
tion loans to repair the damage they had   advantage of the program because they         Federal Expenditures by State
suffered. In addition to these payments    believed, despite evidence to the            for Hazard Mitigation Funds In
to individuals deprived of their homes     contrary, that flood destruction to their              Millions18
and businesses, taxpayers had to pick      home was a one time event, if at all. In
up the tab for $130 million spent to       1993, however, the flood lasted for                      MO 30.0
repair damaged public facilities such as   eight months, and the subsequent long-                    IA 27.0
roads, water, and sewer treatment          term displacement and disorder flood
                                                                                                     IL 26.3
plants.9 The cost of such repairs is       victims suffered convinced many that
                                                                                                    KS 15.2
staggering. Only 1,500 feet of highway     anything was better than living in
on US 54 north of Jefferson City cost      emergency housing for an extended                        NE 10.0
$750,000 to repair.10 Fourteen miles of    period.14 Congressional legislation,                     MN     9.7
Interstate 635 near Kansas City cost       sponsored by Missouri Congressional                      WS     8.0
$21 million to repair. When the final      Representative Harold Volkmer and                        SD     4.5
bill was calculated, the Flood of 1993     signed into law by President Clinton on                  ND     4.2
cost the taxpayers, the state, and the     December 2, 1993, amended the                           Total 134.9
federal government $4 billion!11           Stafford Act, and offered Missouri
                                           officials increased funding for buying
         Over and above that $4 billion    property. This legislation revised the
dollars loomed the statistical probabil-   formula that determined the amount of               All nine Midwest states that
ity of future floods. Since 1973, large    money the Federal Emergency Man-            suffered flood damage took advantage
floods in Missouri have compelled the      agement Agency could receive in order       of the offer of Federal money to
President of the United States to issue    to distribute it to the individual State    persuade people to move from the
thirteen separate disaster declarations.   Emergency Management Agencies for           floodplains, but Missouri utilized the
The future would certainly not be          the purpose of buying threatened            program the most. No doubt this was
different.12 With that reality in mind,    property. This act eventually made          due to the extremely large number of

Page 10
buildings that the floodwaters had          “we could have purchased a $500,000        in the program had the right to decide
damaged compared to other states. A         warehouse, or we could use that same       within the law what it wanted to do with
National Flood Insurance Program            amount to buy over 100 houses and so       the land included in the buyout
(NFIP) study of insured buildings with      impact many more people.”                  program. Arnold, for instance, turned
repetitive losses between 1978 and                                                     the land into recreational area, by
1993 revealed that there were 3,268                  The ratio between the number      building baseball or soccer fields. 25
such buildings in Missouri—a figure         of people helped and the amount of         Others built municipal picnicking
far above similar losses in other states.   available money was further increased      facilities, fitness trails, or community
Most importantly, Missouri’s State          by the low market value of the average     garden plots.26 Still others, like St.
Emergency Management Agency esti-           house on the Missouri floodplains. The     Charles County, used the land to create
mates that many of the owners of these      price the state offered to pay was         outdoor educational facilities for local
properties have made “as many as 23         always based on the fair market value      schools and colleges where students
claims within a fifteen year period and,    of the home before the flood. Yet the      could undertake environmental stud-
in some cases, the dollar value of the      location and age of most of the houses     ies.27 A number of communities such
repeat claims have exceeded the             dictated a market value of between         as Neosho and Ste. Genevieve used
market value of the property several        $5,000 and $25,000 per home.22 Again       buyout money to purchase and
times.”19 Furthermore, these figures        a comparatively modest amount of           demolish at risk homes. Then with
represent only those homes insured by       money could impact a large number of       other state, local, and federal funds,
the NFIP and exclude the vast majority      people, move them off the floodplain,      these local governments built flood
of homes on Missouri’s floodplains          and potentially save millions of dollars   retention basins, drainage ditches, and
that were uninsured. Out of the 216,000     in emergency relief and rescue             levees in order to make the rest of their
households affected by the flood, only      operations in future floods.               town more secure from future floods.28
22,000 had flood insurance.20
                                                     By the fall of 1993, SEMA had              While Missouri’s offer to help
                                            created policies and procedures for        people leave their at-risk homes on the
    National Flood Insurance                buying flooded property and had            floodplain was generous, it had built in
   Program’s Insured Buildings              communicated these policies to flood       safeguards that prevented any one
     with Repetitive Losses 21              damaged cities and towns throughout        homeowner from realizing an unwar-
                                            Missouri.23 These regulations set forth    ranted profit. The most important of
      State         Buildings with          strict guidelines. First, the local        these safeguards was the requirement
                   Repetitive Losses        community, not the State should            contained in SEMA policy that people
                                            identify primary residences that were      who accepted buyout money had to
   Missouri              3,268              structurally damaged within the flood-     resettle outside the floodplain, or be
   Illinois              1.351
                                            plain and approach the owners with the     compliant with the NFIP. Since
   Iowa                    287
   Nebraska                247
                                            offer of a buyout—the decision being       housing outside a floodplain is
   Minnesota               201              the homeowners alone.24 In every way       generally more expensive than that
   Kansas                  175              the Governor wanted the decisions to       within, the amount of money they
   North Dakota            142              be made by communities and local           received in the buyout program would
   Wisconsin                66              citizens. Missourians are conservative     usually not completely cover the cost
   South Dakota             16              and individualistic, and are suspicious    of new housing. Despite this inequity
                                            of government interference. The pro-       many people accepted the buyout
                                            gram had to be voluntary or it would       money anyway, realizing that it would
         Governor Carnahan decided to       not work. Secondly, once the local         make a sizable installment on a new
concentrate on buying the ruined family     government acquired the property, the      home located in an area where they
residences rather than business proper-     land had to be dedicated in perpetuity     would no longer, as homeowners, face
ties. This decision was based on sound      for open space and/or recreational uses    the uncertainties of flooding and all the
economics, since using government           or turned back into a natural wetlands     accompanying disruptions. In 1993,
money to buy family dwellings resulted      area. Third, no buildings except those     SEMA learned that communities had
in moving people out of the threatened      consistent with recreational practices     identified nearly 2,400 primary resi-
floodplains. As Destin Frost, SEMA’s        could be built on the land. Fourth, each   dences, 1100 mobile home pads, 4
State Hazard Mitigation Officer put it,     individual community that participated     apartment buildings, and 385 vacant

                                                                                                                      Page 11
lots that were candidates for the Flood   since ultimately, it is they who must      Program in 1993, the cost of disaster
Buyout Program. The vacant lots were      pay for disaster flood relief. Although    relief and emergency assistance had
those scattered among primary resi-       1995 crests were generally two to four     been drastically reduced.
dences, and the communities believed      feet lower than they had been in 1993,
it was necessary to buy these also, to    much of the same land that flooded in                The successes in these com-
prevent future building.29 The pro-       1993 was covered again in 1995. It was     munities persuaded other communities
gram was always voluntary, and in         possible after the flood of 1995 to        to examine the Flood Buyout Program.
most communities, most people voted       compare the cost of emergency relief       Several other communities decided to
to participate in the Flood Buyout        with that of 1993, and see a dramatic      join after the flood in 1995. Their
Program, some individuals did not.        cost reduction. For instance, in St.       decision was a wise one since in all
Also, some communities, such as           Charles County the price tag for           probability, Missouri rivers will leave
McBaine, decided not to participate in    disaster assistance in 1993 for disaster   their banks again at some time in the
the program.30 However, most people       housing, grants to dispossessed fami-      future. The U.S. Army Corps of
saw the advantages to themselves and      lies, and loans to small businesses to     Engineers (COE) reported in August,
to their communities, and chose to go     rebuild was $26,076,311. In 1995, the      1998, that the Mississippi River has
along with the offer of the program.      cost for the same services was $67,000.    been flowing at a higher level since
                                                                                     1993. On the upper portions of the river
         The program proved so suc-                What had changed was that         a light rain causes the river level
cessful in 1993, that Missouri decided    1,374 houses in St. Charles County,        downstream to move close to flood
to continue the program in 1994, using    damaged by flood waters in 1993, were      stage “almost overnight...Another un-
their Community Development Block         gone. The Flood Buyout Program had         usually rainy spring and summer—and
Grant (CDBG) monies. The state made       paid the owners for their homes, the       the whole nightmare could happen
nearly $7 million available to 13         owners had relocated to higher ground,     again.”33 Governor Carnahan’s deter-
communities to buy an additional 435      and when the water rose in 1995, there     mination to stress this novel program
at risk homes on the floodplains.31       were fewer people to evacuate and care     proved to be a positive example of how
                                          for at public expense.32 This same         the Federal and State government
        Then in May, 1995, another        impressive result was repeated in town     working through communities and
flood provided dramatic proof that the    after town throughout the state. In each   individuals could achieve dramatic
Flood Buyout Program could dramati-       of the Missouri communities that had       results. Their stories deserve to be told
cally reduce the strain on taxpayers,     taken advantage of the Flood Buyout        and lessons learned from them.

Although 1995 crests were
generally two to four feet lower
than they had been in 1993,
much of the same land that
flooded in 1993 was covered
again in 1995. It was possible
after the flood of 1995 to
compare the cost of emer-
gency relief with that of 1993,
and see a dramatic cost

                                                                Open Space in Arnold, Missouri

Page 12
         Alexandria and Clark County

         he small farming community Busch Brewery in St. Louis.7                         On December 20, 1993, Rep-
         of Alexandria is situated at the                                       resentative Volkmer, along with offi-
         confluence of the Des Moines              Some of Alexandria’s citi- cials from the Federal Emergency
and Mississippi Rivers. Most Missouri zens found help through Missouri’s Management Agency, the Missouri
towns have to contend with flooding Flood Buyout Program. Even before Emergency Management Agency, the
from a single river, but Alexandria has the Congress had passed Representa- Missouri Housing Development Com-
to face water coming from two. tive Harold Volkmer’s Hazard Miti- mission, and the Northeast Missouri
Because of this enhanced threat, a total gation and Relocation Assistance Act, Regional Planning Commission met
of three miles of levees had protected some Alexandria residents were 100 citizens from Alexandria and rural
the town on three sides. When the hopeful that it might help them. Many Clark County at Running Fox Elemen-
waters of both rivers began to rise in of the town’s inhabitants met in the tary School in Weyland, Missouri, to
May, 1993, Alexandria’s citizens, Community Center on November 10 hear details. They learned that Volk-
supported by Mennonite volunteers to discuss its proposed provisions.8 mer’s bill had not only passed both
and 271 members of the                                                                     houses of Congress, but that
Missouri National Guard,                                                                   President Clinton had signed
raised the height of those                                                                 it into law on December 2.
levees three feet to try to
keep the rivers out of the                                                                         By the end of the
town.1 Unfortunately their                                                                 three hour meeting, people
efforts failed. On the night of                                                            had a basic understanding of
July 6th, with water already                                                               how Volkmer’s buyout pro-
within inches of the levee                                                                 gram would work and how
tops, an additional six inches                                                             to apply for it. Many were
of rain fell, pushing the                                                                  worried that the government
water over the top and into                                                                was forcing them out of their
the town.2 Even bulldozers                                                                 homes and not allowing
pushing rock and sand to the                                                               them to rebuild. Herman
top could not raise the levees                                                             Skaggs of FEMA explained
quickly enough, and all 390 Alexandria, Missouri flood workers load equipment. that people could stay in
of the town’s residents                                                                    their flood damaged homes,
evacuated on July 7.3 By the                                                               but if their home had been
end of that day, the town was Since early September, Representa- damaged by more than 50% of its pre-
completely covered with 20 feet of tive Volkmer, or members of his staff, flood assessed value they would have
water that stayed in place for over three had been touring Missouri’s flood to raise their home’s foundation one
weeks.                                     damaged communities to explain the foot above the 100 year flood level to
                                           proposed legislation. Wiley Hibbard, qualify for federal flood insurance.
          Every single one of the 123 Volkmer’s assistant, explained the
households within the town sustained rudiments of the plan to the Alexan-                If they did not get the
damage that made the buildings drians. He pointed out that the insurance, then the government would
uninhabitable.5 When the residents proposed buyout program was volun- make no further payments to them in
could finally return, they found a stark tary, that people did not have to have future floods. Others were concerned
landscape of mud and piles of debris flood insurance to participate, that the about the mechanics of filling out the
lodged against their water-logged plan was based on a 75% to 25% forms, and Representative Volkmer
houses.6 The damage was so severe Federal/State and local funding divi- told them that the Missouri Association
that even a year after the flood, the town sion, and that no permanent dwelling of County Governments (MACOG)
lacked potable water in homes, and could be built on the property once would allow personnel of Missouri’s
people had to drink bottled water ownership went to the local govern- various regional planning commis-
supplied free of charge by Anheuser- ment entity.9                              sions to assist homeowners with

                                                                                                               Page 13
                                                                                              Support for the buyout pro-
                                                                                     gram was not unanimous at this
                                                                                     meeting. Alexandria’s Mayor, Robert
                                                                                     Davis, told the committee that he
                                                                                     opposed the buyout, and that he based
                                                                                     his opposition on the fact that many
                                                                                     Alexandria residents had already
                                                                                     purchased building permits to rebuild
                                                                                     within the town, an action, he felt,
                                                                                     indicated their desire to return.12
                                                                                     However, Alexandria alderman Tom
                                                                                     Alberts and the town’s city clerk Julie
                                                                                     Wilson, countered the mayor’s remarks
                                                                                     by stating that most town residents had
                                                                                     applied for building permits in order to
                                                                                     qualify for free building supplies to
       Flood waters destroy a small shed in Alexandria, Missouri.                    make temporary repairs to their flood
                                                                                     damaged homes. Both felt there was
paperwork. Others had heard rumors                    Under the direction of David   genuine interest in the buyout pro-
that Alexandria could not participate in    Davison and David Shoush, the            gram.13 The Governor’s committee did
the program because their Mayor,            Northeast Missouri Regional Planning     not require a community’s unanimous
Robert Davis, was against the program       Commission began the process of          support for the buyout program and felt
and would not sign the papers to begin      applying for buyout money. Initially,    that Alexandria’s request deserved the
the application process. Mayor Davis        110 of the 114 property owners in        Governor’s consideration.
assured the people that, although he        Alexandria, and twenty-five of fifty
was not in favor of the buyout, he          Clark County residents whose homes                 As the Governor considered
would nevertheless sign the necessary       had sustained damage, expressed          Alexandria’s request for funding,
papers.                                     interest in the buyout program. On       Alexandria’s City Council continued
                                            January 26, 1994, Davison and Shoush,    to work on other requirements of the
         Immediately after the meet-        members of the Alexandria city gov-      buyout program. Even if FEMA
ing, Alexandria’s city council met and      ernment, and the three county commis-    approved the town’s application,
voted unanimously to begin the              sioners for Clark County appeared        Alexandria would still have to match
process of applying to the Missouri         before Governor Carnahan’s Review        one quarter of the amount the federal
Department of Economic Develop-             and Hazard Mitigation Committee to       government supplied. The City Coun-
ment for a Community Development            consider claims for buyout money. The    cil invited the Missouri Department of
Block Grant (CDBG) to get the money         committee heard requests and passed      Economic Development’s Sally He-
for the matching funds to qualify for the   on those they considered worthy to the   menway to tour Alexandria to estimate
federal buyout money. At the same           Governor, who in turn passed the         the extent of damage to Alexandria and
time, David Shoush, representing            requests on to the Federal Emergency     determine whether the town was
Clark County as the director of the         Management Agency—that ultimately        eligible for a CDBG grant.
Northeast Missouri Regional Develop-        supplied the buyout funds.
ment Commission—of which Alexan-                                                              During her visit, Hemenway
dria is a part—informed the city                     Davison submitted a request     made it a point to stress the voluntary
council that he would begin the process     for $4,767,200, while Shoush’s appli-    nature of the buyout program, pointing
of applying for buyout funds to buy         cation asked for $1,000,000. Davison,    out in a discussion with town residents
flood damaged property in Clark             acting on behalf of La Grange,           that any applicant was free to back out
County which had also been hit hard by      Missouri, a Mississippi River town in    of the program up to the final moment
the flood waters. Acres of farmland that    Lewis County, about forty miles south    when they signed their land over to the
totaled 32,000 were covered with            of Alexandria, also requested            city. She also assured the townspeople
water, and 50 residences had been           $1,649,800 to buy out homes in that      that each homeowner would be
damaged.10                                  town.11                                  contacted individually to discuss the

Page 14
buyout process. She did warn the                    Finally, in February, 1995,                Another source of help to the
residents they needed to make a            Alexandria residents who had agreed        town came from the Mennonites, who
decision soon, because there was a         to participate in the buyout began to      live on farms in the area. During the
limited amount of money available for      receive checks for their property. By      flood, they had worked hard filling and
the buyout program and that fifty-five     February 1, 1995, nine Alexandria          moving sandbags to the tops of the
Missouri communities were making           residents had sold their homes to the      levees.21 After the flood, when
applications similar to Alexandria.14      city for amounts ranging from $8,000       Alexandria needed help rebuilding, the
                                           to $25,000. By February 7, 1995, ten       Mennonites came back to help repair
         On February 14, 1994, Gover-      more residents had turned their homes      the destruction. This extensive outside
nor Carnahan announced that he was         over to the city and received checks,      help allowed Alexandria to rebuild.
recommending Alexandria and fifteen        and by December 31, 1995, forty            Largely because of all the help, many
other sites for buyout funding from        residents had accepted government          residents decided to stay, and to meet
FEMA. The governor’s approval of           checks for their homes.19                  federal regulations by raising the
funding for Clark County came several                                                 foundations of their new homes one
weeks later.15                                       Today, Alexandria is a vital     foot above the established 100 year
                                           and growing town. Despite the fears        flood mark.22
         After approval, events moved      that the buyout might cause a crippling
quickly. On March 31, the governor         population decline that could hurt the              Along with the rebuilding
announced that Alexandria had re-          tax base, the town continues to grow.      came new town ordinances that were
ceived approval for buyout funding.        Perhaps one reason for this is the         promoted by Mayor Robert Davis.
On April 7, the Alexandria City            extensive help Alexandria received         Now there are strict rules about trash
Council in consultation with SEMA          from outsiders. In the midst of the        and refuse removal, the height of grass
established the buyout criteria for the    devastation, Alexandria had found          on private lawns, and rules governing
town’s homeowners. The council set         outside help. The town was adopted by      the type of dwellings people can build.
up categories and procedures for           the citizens of Mt. Airy, Maryland, and    There are also numerous sites, scat-
buying homes, appraising their values,     Croton, Ohio. Both of these towns sent     tered throughout the town that provide
and dealing with disputed appraisals.16    workers to help with rebuilding. The       sites for picnicking and recreation.23
                                           citizens of Mt. Airy even collected        Many of these sites now contain picnic
         A further meeting between         $50,000 through private donations,         tables, basketball goals, and open sided
city officials and state representatives   dances, and various church sponsored       shelters.24 The town looks good and
finalized the details of the buyout.17 A   activities. One Mt. Airy bartender         Alexandria has a revitalized spirit of
similar process took place outside         offered to shave his head if his patrons   pride.
Alexandria and by May 25, Clark            would contribute $4,000 to the cause of
County residents were able to submit       flood relief for Alexandria. They did
applications for buyout funds.18           and he had his head shaved.20

                    Buyout area in Alexandria, Missouri, adjacent to the former Elementary
                    School offers plenty of room to play or to develop future sports fields.

                                                                                                                     Page 15

         ear the site where the Meramec     senators and representatives met in Fox            Even before the water level
         River empties into the             High School’s cafeteria to discuss the     began to drop, Eric Knoll and the city
         Mississippi, a bend has formed     flooding in the Midwest.3                  council had begun to explore the
a peninsula; Arnold, Missouri, is on                                                   buyout option. On July 29, Knoll
this peninsula. Since 1973, Arnold has                While the politicians were contacted the Federal Emergency
been the site of nine major floods.         talking, Mayor Marion Becker and her Management Agency (FEMA) to
Consequently, the citizens of Arnold                                                                       request informa-
have a progressive attitude toward                                                                         tion about the fed-
“flood proofing” it. Eric Knoll, the long                                                                  eral purchase of
time City Administrator of Arnold, is a                                                                    flood damaged
walking encyclopedia concerning river                                                                      property under the
heights, federal flood control pro-                                                                        original 1980 buy-
grams, state flood regulations, flood                                                                      out legislation.
prevention, and ideas about making his                                                                     He told FEMA
town more secure from rising water.                                                                        that as many as
Arnold was one of the first towns to                                                                       100 homeowners
participate in the early federal flood                                                                     might be interest-
buyout program in 1980, officially                                                                         ed.7 Many Arnold
termed the 1362 program.                                                                                   citizens such as
                                                                                                           the Flanagan fam-
         Under Knoll’s leadership,             Ground preparation for a soccer field in Arnold.            ily were tired of
Arnold also has passed local ordi-          fellow townspeople were building the constant threat of flooding. With
nances that made further efforts to         sandbag levees. Wherever the natural eight inches of flood water on the floor
protect the town.1 For instance,            lay of the land in the Pleasant Valley of their house, Kathie Flanagan told a
developers must adhere to strict            and Bayshore subdivisions seemed to St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter,
building codes. They must observe           present a good line of defense against “We’re hurt emotionally. It’s time to
rigid easement regulations along the        flood waters, people stacked sandbags. find another place to live.”8
Meramec River shore. Since 1980, all        A good portion of the time the
new construction must have valves           temperature hovered around 100                     The announcement of Repre-
installed in plumbing systems to            degrees. On July 28, Mayor Becker sentative Volkmer’s buyout plan,
prevent the contamination of the city       issued an appeal for sandbaggers to followed by President Clinton’s sign-
water system and protect sewer lines in     raise levees high enough to protect ing of the act, and Governor Carna-
the event of flooding.2                     against a 44 foot crest.4 A few days han’s promise to lobby officials for
                                            later, she asked people to raise the level money while attending the National
        In 1993, Arnold faced its           another foot. To be on the safe side, 500 Governor’s Conference in Washing-
toughest battle against flooding on         families evacuated the area. Most ton, all encouraged Eric Knoll to begin
record when the rising Mississippi          levees stood the pressure, but on the application process for some of the
River caused the water of the Meramec       August 1, a twenty foot section promised buyout money. Knoll began
River, which flows on the northern          collapsed along the Starling Airport the application process by surveying
boundary of Arnold, to back up into the     Road and flooded the Community the flood damaged areas to find
town. From July 7 through August 8,         Airport Road Mobile Home Park.5 damaged houses. He then contacted
100 houses and businesses were hurt by      Then, when levees broke on the Illinois the owners by mail to inform them of
rising water. The nation became aware       side of the Mississippi River down- the plan and to invite them to several
of Arnold’s plight when President           stream from the mouth of the public meetings to expand on the idea.
Clinton, Vice President Gore, six           Meramec, the water level fell two feet, The city then submitted the material to
Cabinet members, and a collection of        and the threat to Arnold was gone.6        SEMA.10

Page 16
        On January 25, Governor              and dry when floods came again. He                   While Arnold was buying
Carnahan’s office announced that             remembers driving back to his old           single family dwellings from 1993
Arnold would receive $4.1 million to         home site on the floodplain and             through 1995, the city was also
buy 89 houses in the floodplain plus a       actually laughing at the rising water.      eliminating mobile homes from the
number of mobile home pads.11 Some                                                       floodplain through another buyout
of the applicants decided not to sell;                                                   program. Since mobile home owners
they chose to rebuild instead.                                                           often did not own the land that their
                                                 I felt relieved. I was laugh-           home sat on, and because under
         On April 15, 1994, another              ing. I even drove down to               Missouri law a mobile home is classed
flood hit Arnold, and many people who            the old house. I could see              as a motor vehicle, the federal buyout
had rebuilt realized that they had made          the water coming up.                    program could not apply to them. But
a mistake. Even though the water was             I didn’t have to sandbag...             the State Emergency Management
not as deep, and it stayed only three            I was happy because I was               Agency was able to find money
days instead of a month as it had in             bought out and I’m gone.                through a separate program of the
1993, it was enough to damage 20                 I don’t have to worry about             Federal Emergency Management Agen-
rebuilt houses.13 These people were                                                      cy, to help these mobile home owners
                                                 it the rest of my life.16
glad, after this 1994 flood, to join the                                                 move.18 Mobile home owners could
buyout, which brought the total                                                          also receive help through the vehicle
number of single-family dwellings,                                                       insurance that many carried on their
where homeowners had accepted the                      Fortunately, for people like      mobile homes. In addition, the city of
buyout offer, to 72.14                       the Wests who missed the opportunity        Arnold also made money available to
                                             after the ’93 flood, there was additional   these people. On August 14, 1994, after
         But that was not the end of the     money available for buyouts after the       the second big flood, the Arnold city
buyout program in Arnold. In May             ‘95 flood. On August 27, 1995,              council voted to give each mobile home
1995, the Meramec flooded Arnold             Governor Carnahan announced that the        owner in the Riverside Mobile Home
once again. This disaster brought river      federal government had made an              Park $2,000 from federal community
levels only a few inches less than in the    additional $1.3 million available to buy    development block grant money to pay
‘94 flood, but it was the final straw for    homes on the floodplains of Missouri.       for new utility hookups, awning
those who had chosen to remain in the        Arnold would get $275,000 to buy 16         removal, shed and air conditioner
floodplain.                                  more single family homes.17                 removal, and occupancy permits.

         Gaylord and Norma West had
resisted the buyout in 1993 and 1994.
Just before the ‘93 flood they had spent
$100,000 on remodeling. The damage
was severe, but they could not bring
themselves to leave such a heavy
investment. In ‘94 the house was
damaged again, but still the couple
decided to stay. In ‘95, however, after
sustaining $45,000 in damage, they
were convinced. The buyout offer
amounted to only $69,000, but they
were willing to take the loss to be out of
the floodplain.15

          Other residents like Joe Moore
had taken the initial flood buyout offer
after the ‘93 flood and were living high                          Beautiful open space improves the
                                                                  quality of life in Arnold, Missouri.

                                                                                                                       Page 17
         At the same time, the council    on the rivers edge. In 1998, he              recurring floods, Arnold did not lose
voted for a housing assistance grant      negotiated with two homeowners for           population. Most of the people who
from the Missouri Housing Develop-        their houses, and as of May 25, 1999,        accepted buyout money stayed in
ment Commission to help with              he has closed on five more buyouts. As       Arnold. The population increased from
relocation expenses. Individual mobile    of this writing, he is negotiating for       18,828 in 1993 to 20,473, according to
home owners could get up to $20,000 to    two more.                                    the last figures of the U.S. Census
help bridge the gap between leaving the                                                Bureau. The tax base has remained
property and moving to higher ground.19              As for the land acquired in the   healthy enough for the town to pass a
                                          buyout, negotiations are under way in        tax levee to buy a 120 acre tract near the
         The results of these buyout      conjunction with the Jefferson County        center of town for development as the
efforts were impressive. By the end of    Youth Association to build on a portion      Strawberry Creek Nature Area.20
1995, Arnold had purchased 202 single     of it, a football field and bleachers. The
family dwellings and 155 mobile home      Association has already leased the land              The National Association of
pads on the floodplain. The almost        for ten years for one dollar, and the non-   Floodplain Managers has recognized
yearly flood threat to Arnold is no       profit organization currently runs a         the success of Arnold’s use of buyout
longer there.                             football program there for 400 kids.         program funds. In 1997, the Associa-
                                                                                       tion singled out Knoll for his
        Eric Knoll feels the program              Most importantly, Arnold has         innovation and leadership during this
was such a success that he has con-       prospered since the flood. Unlike some       time and recognized him with its
tinued buying out additional properties   communities that suffered from the           annual award.21

                              The Jefferson County Youth Association plans to
                              build a football field in Arnold to support their
                              program for 400 youngsters on this buyout property.

Page 18
                               Buchanan County

         oth Sugar Lake and Rushville       Rushville and Sugar Lake decided          period statewide until February 14,
         are unincorporated settlements     they had suffered enough.                 1994, fourteen more residents of Sugar
         that are located 30 miles                                                    Lake and Rushville decided to add
northwest of Kansas City near the                    Even before Representative       their names to the list, also.6 Follow-
Missouri River. Sugar Lake is a             Volkmer announced his new buyout          ing this show of interest, people
collection of approximately 160 houses      legislation and Governor Carnahan         met several times in the area to
built around a lake of the same name.       gave it his unqualified support, many     acquaint residents with the new buyout
Rushville is a settlement of about 60       Rushville-Sugar Lake residents were       program.
houses that were built along U.S.           clamoring for information concerning
Highway 59 and Missouri Highway             buyouts under the original 1980                    Shelley Temple of MOKAN
45. Most of Rushville’s residents           legislation. Approximately 150 people     hosted most of these meetings in order
either farm or work in Atchison,            showed up for a meeting about flood       to lay out the ground rules. First, the
Kansas, across the Missouri River.          relief on October 7. Many of them         program was voluntary, and applicants
Homes in the area are inexpensive,          wanted to know about the flood buyout     were free to drop out whenever they
averaging about $31,000.1                   program. It took Bud Crockett, the        wished. The county would make
                                            Western District Commissioner for         formal appraisals, which would be
         Neither of these areas was a       Buchanan County by surprise. He had       based on the pre-flood value of a
stranger to flooding. The latest disaster   only the barest knowledge of the          house, minus whatever the homeown-
had been in 1984 when water from the        program.                                  er had already received from flood
Missouri River broke through the                                                      insurance or other payments from the
Rushville-Sugar Lake Levee and                       Yet, his cursory explanation     government. Once the property was
covered the land for 22 days before         and promise to find out more, was         sold, the houses would be demolished
receding.2 Yet even this unpleasant         enough to encourage 42 people to put      and the land would be returned to its
experience was minor compared to            their names on a list indicating they     natural state.7
four repeated floods that inundated the     were interested in a buyout. Once
towns in July and September of 1993.        Crockett had done some research and                 Good news came on July 3,
                                            shared this information with those        when Bud Crockett learned through
         The first flooding came on         initial applicants, 34 said they were     MOKAN that FEMA had approved a
July 6, when the Rushville-Sugar Lake       definitely interested in pursuing the     total of $473,000 to purchase land and
Levee broke and the Missouri River          matter further.4                          homes damaged in the flooding. A
swept through the gap. The land in the                                                short time later, Missouri awarded
area is so flat that once that levee                 With this list, Crockett con-    Buchanan County $471,000 in a
broke, even a normal spring rain could      tacted the MOKAN Regional Council,        community development block grant.8
cause flooding. More than the usual         an organization that was in business to   With that funding assured, the buyout
spring rains fell in 1993, and the area     help residents of the Missouri counties   process could begin.
flooded again on July 26, September 2,      of Buchanan, Andrew, DeKalb, and
and September 23.                           Clinton, along with Doniphan and                  Several meetings followed.
                                            Atchison Counties in Kansas, access       The largest one, held on August 29 at
         Each flood caused residents to     government programs. By the time          the Rushville Christian Church, drew
evacuate and to seek shelter with           Crockett had submitted these prelimi-     100 people. Shelley Temple told the
relatives, in local churches, or in         nary buyout requests to MOKAN, that       people that within the next several
emergency shelters that the Federal         agency had some of the details of         weeks appraisers would contact them
Emergency Management Agency pro-            Volkmer’s new buyout plan which           to make a formal appraisal. A few
vided.3 Such frequent flooding was          were encouraging.5 When SEMA              weeks later they would receive a
unprecedented, and the people of            decided to extend the application         formal offer, at which point they

                                                                                                                    Page 19
would have two weeks to consider. If                 Homeowner Doug Olson, a                       The Chatmans were lucky.
they accepted, they signed a letter of     cabinet maker, was happy with his              Rains brought flooding to Rushville
intent, and they would hopefully           offer; he thought it was fair. In an earlier   and Sugar Lake again in 1995. But this
receive their money by February 1995.      interview, after he had applied, but           time the water did not enter their home.
                                           before he received any money, Olson            The cinder block base had not saved it
        Temple also made some              told a Kansas City Star reporter, “It’s        but the fact that the Corps of Engineers
statements about the property once it      stupid to be down there. [Without the          and the local levee board had repaired
was sold. Nothing could be built on the    buyout] I’d probably end up selling the        the Rushville-Sugar Lake Levee did.
land, but since the individual lots that   land to somebody else and then they’d          A strenuous effort by Larry Frakes,
most houses stood on averaged only         be in to bail him out in 10 to 20 years.”      secretary-treasurer of the Rushville-
one-half acre, they could be leased to                                                    Sugar Lake Levee Association, and
adjoining landowners who had not sold                On February 14, 1995, four           Shelley Temple of MOKAN had
out or who had cropland adjoining; this    property owners got their first checks,        raised money through contributions
land then could be used either for         and within the next two months, 24             and a community development block
planting crops or for a garden.9           other people sold their land to the            grant to meet the 20% in matching
                                           county.11 By the end of the year, six          funds required by the Corps of
         From there, things moved          more residents had sold out, making a          Engineers to rebuild the levee. By
quickly. On December 17, the 34            total of 36 participants in the Buchanan       January 12, 1995, the Corps had
property owners who were still             County buyout program.12                       finished repairs to the levee and added
considering the buyout option re-                                                         a topping of 2,700 tons of stone.14
ceived the government’s offer. Shelley              Of course not everyone
Temple told them they had two weeks        thought the buyout was a good idea.                     Today, most of the bought out
to consider the offer, but after the       About a dozen families in Rushville            land is covered with grass or is leased
meeting, Bud Crockett told reporters       (out of 60 before the flood) decided to        by farmers who incorporate it into their
that most people seemed happy with         stay, no matter what. Roger and                total cropland. At Sugar Lake, the area
their offers. Twenty-seven had ac-         Marilyn Chatman used cinder blocks             made up of several lots has been used
cepted immediately and six wanted to       to raise their trailer home six feet off       to build an access road into Sugar
consider the offer before making up        the ground, and then hired a bulldozer         Lake. Residents have talked about
their minds. Only one had absolutely       to push dirt underneath. They will stay        building a boat dock on the lake
refused the offer.10                       no matter what.13                              frontage of one of the lots.15

                                               Rushville, Missouri is home of
                                           Missouri’s Lewis and Clark State Park.

Page 20
                                  Cape Girardeau

        ike most towns along Missouri’s     levees, tons of free food and supplies      qualify for buyout funds. By June 20,
        Mississippi River boundary,         poured in from all over the nation, and     the county was on the disaster list, and
        Cape Girardeau suffers from         after the flood, hundreds of volunteers     Cape was eligible to apply.8
frequent flooding. However, unlike          showed up to help clean and repair the
the other river towns, “Cape”—as the        damaged houses. Mennonites volun-                     The announcement of buyout
locals call it—did not participate in the   teered to shovel mud out of people’s        eligibility sparked action. Ken Eftink,
‘93 floodplain buyout program.1             homes, various church groups sent           Cape’s Development Services Coordi-
                                            contingents to rebuild and repair           nator, scouted through the recently
         The reason for Cape’s not          structures, and groups such as the          flooded areas looking for damaged
participating was not because the flood     Salvation Army supplied money to            houses. He found nearly 150 that had
damage in ‘93 was slight. One hundred       help people find temporary shelter.4        sustained some damage. He also
sixty homes flooded, and residents                                                      categorized each house by its elevation
sandbagged furiously around houses                   Unfortunately, the flood of ‘95    in the floodplain area. Those that stood
in the Red Star neighborhood north of       was different. The flood waters were        lowest had suffered the most damage,
town and in Meadowbrook to the              nearly as high—46.7 in ‘95—but the          and Eftink reasoned, would be the
south. A permanent flood wall had           outpouring of help did not materialize,     most eligible for buyout relief.9
been built to protect the downtown          and fewer volunteers came to help.
area from crests as high as 54 feet–        Then, too, the ‘95 flood was much more               At a city council meeting on
‘93’s crest was 47.9 feet.2                 sudden. In ‘93 people had time to build     July 17, the councilmen decided to
                                            substantial sandbag levees around           submit a formal application to the
         Cape Girardeau’s city council      houses, but the water rose too quickly in   Governor’s buyout review committee
briefly talked about the buyout             ‘95, and dozens of homes flooded much       in Jefferson City requesting funding.
program at the council’s meeting in         more quickly and seriously as a result.5    Ken Eftink told the council that as a
October, but determined not to pursue                                                   result of his survey there were
it. Their reasoning revolved around a                By May 28, 100 homes had           potentially 80 houses that were
misunderstanding of the “100 year           flooded in the Cape Girardeau               damaged badly enough to qualify: 42 in
flood” concept, as both the press and       neighborhoods of Red Star, Smelter-         the Red Star area, 22 in Smelterville, 14
the Corps of Engineers referred to the      ville, Meadowbrook, and Highway             in Meadowbrook, and 2 in Highway
‘93 flood. In a literal sense, the phrase   177 (the area is named for the              177. Thirty owners had already
seems to imply that such a flood would      highway), and city officials were ready     contacted him with expressed interest.
happen only once in a century. In fact,     to consider the buyout.6 If fact, in
the precise meaning of the phrase is        Jefferson City as Tom Uhlenbrock of                  The councilmen were aware
that in any one year there is a one         the Post Dispatch was interviewing          that property purchased through the
percent chance of such a flood              Buck Katt, the Deputy Director for the      buyout had to be devoted to “green-
happening, and in a century such a          State Emergency Management Agen-            way” uses, and that no structures could
flood is an absolute certainty. No          cy (SEMA) about the buyout program,         be built on it. City Manager J. Ronald
guarantee exists that similar floods        he was interrupted by Cape Girardeau        Fischer suggested that some of the
cannot happen even more frequently.3        officials calling about the program.7       flood prone land in Red Star might be
                                                                                        ideal for a park and a boat dock.10
        Still another reason for the                 Unfortunately for a time, it
non-participation might have been that      seemed that Cape would not get any                   By August 8, the city council
the flooded areas received a tremen-        help, because the initial federal           was ready to act. In the ensuing weeks
dous amount of help from outside            disaster declaration did not include        after the July 17 council meeting, Ken
sources. Hundreds of volunteer sand-        Cape Girardeau County. Inclusion on         Eftink had done additional research
baggers helped to man the temporary         the list was necessary for an area to       which he later used as a base for the

                                                                                                                       Page 21
council’s formal application.                                                                        December 21, the city coun-
Cape Girardeau would ask for                                                                         cil held a meeting in the
$1.6 million in federal and                                                                          basement of the Red Star
state money to buy a total of 66                                                                     Baptist Church to explain the
homes: 38 in Red Star, 15 in                                                                         buyout concept. More than
Meadowbrook, 11 in Smelter-                                                                          100 residents showed up.
ville, and 2 in Highway 177.                                                                         Officials from SEMA and
Eftink had even calculated the                                                                       SEMO were there to field
ongoing cost to the city of                                                                          questions. At that meeting
maintaining the lots after the                                                                       Ken Eftink revealed that
houses were demolished; it                                                                           there was only enough mon-
would cost the city $13,000 a                                                                        ey to buy 50 houses, and that
year to mow the lots, and the                                                                        these would be purchased in
city would lose $1,000 a year                                                                        strict accordance with the
in real estate taxes. Since the                                                                      degree of damage each
houses occupied an area that had                  Buyout area in Cape Girardeau            house had sustained. In other words,
flooded 15 times in the last 20 years,             helps relieve city congestion.          the properties that were damaged the
those projected costs were acceptable.                                                     most would be the first bought. If a
                                                application and would submit it to the     homeowner refused an offer, then that
         The only debate on the matter          Federal Emergency Management               money would be used to make an offer
involved whether or not the city itself         Agency for final approval. Unfortu-        to another homeowner further down
should dip into its own funds to help           nately, the Governor had not approved      the list. The process would continue
finance the buyout. The assumption on           the whole $1.6 million amount, but         until there was no money left.16
the part of some councilmen was that            instead had given Cape $1.2 million,
such an offer might help the application        $742,000 would go to buy the houses                 The problem remained of
gain approval on the state level.               and $450,000 to relocate residents.12      getting the information about the
However, Chauncy Buchheit, of the               The state had reduced Cape’s request       buyout disseminated in the most
Southeast Missouri Regional Planning            because in 1995 it had only $4 million     effective way possible. Many people in
and Economic Development Commis-                dollars for this buyout cycle instead of   southeast Missouri had a rural suspi-
sion (SEMO) reminded the council that           the nearly $100 million that it had to     cion of the government, and Ken Eftink
such local funding was not necessary to         spend in 1993, and the $4 million          realized that many homeowners would
gain approval. On this advice, the              needed to stretch in order to help other   not trust a formal letter that explained
council decided to submit the applica-          communities as well.13                     how the government was willing to buy
tion without the offer of local funds.11                                                   their damaged property. He, therefore
                                                         The amount of money the           committed himself and his staff to
          That decision was the only            Governor had recommended would             personally visiting with each potential
part of the buyout that drew public             cover the purchase of only 49 houses in    candidate, explaining the buyout pro-
criticism. An August 16, editorial in           the Smelterville and Red Star areas.       gram face to face, and even transporting
the Southeast Missourian praised the            Those in Meadowbrook and Highway           the potential seller around town to view
buyout program but criticized the               177 had been dropped because they sat      potential and affordable homes outside
decision not to offer city funds in its         higher on the floodplain and had not       the floodplain. This approach lessened
implementation. The editorial said              been as severely damaged.14 The town       peoples’ mistrust and Eftink specu-
“that to do otherwise smacks of the             of Commerce, some twenty miles             lates, might have informed potential
kind of free handout that has put the           south of Cape, was in much greater         sellers who were functionally illiterate.
federal government in the red ink mess          need of buyout funds, and therefore        In any event, the buyout program began
that it is in. . . It should hurt a little to   got $1,756,707 to fund its buyout.15       to experience a high rate of success.17
take these government handouts.”
                                                        Still, $742,000 would go a                 Beside the personal approach
       On October 17, the Southeast             long way toward ending the damage          that Eftink proposed, the Cape
Missourian reported that Governor               from flooding in Cape, and officials set   Girardeau program had other “user
Carnahan had approved the city’s                to work to implement the buyout. On        friendly” aspects. The Salvation Army

Page 22
and the church-based Interfaith Disas-   the city had made 28 offers and only       didn’t have to find a place to stay...
ter Response Network both helped         one offer had been declined.20             when the water gets high. 22
buyout candidates with extra money
for moving out of the floodplain. The             On September 6, with its                   By the time the program
Salvation Army spent $82,000 and the     money running out, Governor Carna-         ended on January 1, 1997, Cape
Interfaith Disaster Response Group       han announced that Cape Girardeau          Girardeau had made offers on 114
spent $83,700 to help people with        was getting an additional $738,585 to      properties. Twenty homeowners whose
initial down payments, closing costs,    expand their buyout program. This          homes are flood risks refused the offer
repairs to their new homes, and the      money had been previously allocated        to move from the floodplain. Still, the
myriad financial obligations that make   as buyout money for a number of other      situation has changed radically in
any move stressful.18                    towns, but it had been returned. In        Cape Girardeau. On August 8, 1998,
                                         some places the buyout procedure was       the Cape Girardeau city government
         The goal of the Interfaith      not as successful, and for one reason or   invited the personnel from SEMA,
Disaster Response Group was to help      another, potential sellers backed out.     FEMA, the Missouri Department of
people for whom the buyout would         This “de-obligated” money can be           Economic Development, the Salvation
have been impossible without a little    allocated to another buyout project.       Army, and The Interfaith Disaster
extra financial help. The group helped   Cape’s success record made it a good       Response Network, all who had
about 20 families with grants of         candidate for these extra funds.21         helped make the buyout program a
between $5,000 and $7,000.19 Be-                                                    success, back to Cape Girardeau for a
cause of these many layers of support             The additional money made it      fish fry with the buyout recipients. The
ranging from appropriations of federal   possible to include Meadowbrook, an        letter of invitation to these organiza-
money to personal one-on-one contact     area that had applied for buyout money     tions from Mayor A.M. Spradling, III
with flood victims, the Cape Girardeau   in October, but was cut from the           said this was “an opportunity for the
program was accomplished with more       program. Now with the high risk            Flood Buyout recipients to personally
positive feelings than perhaps any-      homes in Red Star and Smelterville         thank you ... who have made the
where else in the state. Not everyone    rapidly being bought up, the extra         Program the success it has been.”
accepted the buyout offer, but most      money made it possible to make offers
did, and did so gladly because they      on property in lower risk areas. By the             Ironically, it rained, but, given
were assured it was being made with      end of October, 65 homeowners had          everyone’s mutual experience with the
the purest of motives.                   received offers. Some of them like,        flood of ‘95 the mood was convivial.
                                         Jimmie Fisher and his neighbor Mike        Martha Lemonds, a buyout participant
         The first homeowners to         Maglone, had been flooded out year         who sold her house on the floodplain
receive a buyout check were Henry and    after year. Fisher acknowledged that it    and now lived high and dry, said “We
Oma Copeland on March 21, 1996.          would be hard to leave the home he had     can enjoy the rain now. We live on a
The city made offers on 15 other homes   lived in for 57 years, but he was          hill. We can sit in our family room and
during the same week. By May 2, 1996,    looking forward to a year when he          enjoy every minute.”23

                                                                                                                    Page 23
      Flooded Cedar City during the 1993 flood.                                 Cedar City after the Buyout.

                                            Cedar City
         edar City is located just across   community. They reported the kind of       City that federal and state money was
         the Missouri River, immedi-        town where everyone knew everybody         available to buy out property that had
         ately north of Jefferson City.     else, where front doors were habitually    been severely damaged by the flood,
Most Cedar City residents believed          left unlocked, children played in the      and that the proposed prices would be
that the flood of 1993 was the largest      streets, and people spent pleasant         assigned on the pre-flood value of the
flood that had ever impacted their          summer evenings visiting from their        home. If residents were interested, the
town, and that the flood in 1995 was        front porches. It was the kind of place,   letter invited them to ask for an
only a little less severe. In both 1993     where long-time resident, Linda            application. The response was imme-
and 1995, water rose in Cedar City to       Nichols, remembers children enjoying       diate. The city also hired a professional
between 25 and 30 feet deep, which          simple pleasures like riding bicycles      appraisal service to establish the value
classified both occurrences as “100         without concern for cars, trick or         of the homes—an appraisal for which
year floods.”1 Before the 1993 flood,       treating door to door on Halloween,        the city paid, and also provided an
Cedar City was home to about 400            and climbing apple trees.4                 appeal process if the homeowner
people in 115 houses and a number of                                                   disagreed. This price, minus any
businesses. Besides three convenience                Yet, despite these bucolic        deductions of earlier financial pay-
stores and two gas stations, an antique     memories, Cedar City was an area that      ments from FEMA to the homeowner
store, a mechanic’s shop, businesses        had repeatedly suffered from floods.       for emergency housing and structural
associated with the small Jefferson         The postmistress of Cedar City, June       repairs, plus a moving allowance, was
City Memorial Airport, Roettgen Auto        Sundermeyer, remembers that before         the final sum offered to the home-
Repair, Capital Steel, and Lauf             1993, the town had flooded in 1942,        owner. In return for this money, the
Equipment formed the economic base          1943, 1944, 1947, 1951, 1973, 1983,        homeowner turned the property over
of the town. The largest employer in        1986, and 1990. By 1993, Ms.               to Jefferson City, of which Cedar City
Cedar City was ABB Transformer and          Sundermeyer was ready to move. She         was a suburb, and agreed that once the
Distribution Company that employed          was one of 98 homeowners, along with       house is cleared from the land, that the
over 700 workers who manufactured           the membership of both the Methodist       area will be used only for “uses
electrical transformers for small busi-     and the Baptist Churches who decided       compatible with open space, recre-
nesses and homes.2                          to take the buyout money to move to        ational, or wetlands management.”6
                                            higher ground.5
        In contrast to the calculated                                                           Only a few Cedar City
average fair market value of the homes             In January, 1994, the City          residents had the foresight to buy flood
in Cedar City—$15,669.00,3 residents        Manager’s office in Jefferson City         insurance from the National Flood
felt a deep attachment to their             informed property owners in Cedar          Insurance Program before the flood.

Page 24
One senior citizen had conscientiously    of the program was immediately         to individuals for a token rent of
paid her premiums for years and had       apparent when the floods came this     $15.00 a year.10 A few previous
also maintained and created an            second time. In 1993, 473 citizens of  landowners worked out special ar-
“extremely well maintained property.”     Cedar City had applied for individual  rangements with the Jefferson City
The buyout program acknowledged           assistance during the flood. The total Parks and Recreation Department,
her efforts, by offering pre-flood fair   cost to the taxpayer for disaster      whereby they were allowed lifetime
market value, which, with the insur-      housing, Individual Family Grants, and gardening rights on their old garden
ance payoff, allowed her to move to a     Small Business Administration (SBA)    sites.11 The most original use of the
desirable property out of the flood-      loans was $1,435,149. When the floods  land, however, has to be on the six
plain. The officials at SEMA were         came again in 1995, most residents     acres rented to Harry Thompson and
generally willing to adapt the buyout     were gone, and consequently the        his son Ben. Ben was the president of
program to fairly compensate citizens     number of people applying for emer-    his local Future Farmers of America
who had accepted responsibility for       gency aid was less. In 1995, only 53   (FFA) chapter, and the group needed
living on land that was vulnerable to     people applied for individual assis-   a fundraising project. The Thompsons
flood waters.                             tance which totaled $176,902. The two  teamed up with the organizers of the
                                          floods covered almost the same areas inJefferson City River Rendezvous
          Cedar City was a kind of        Cedar City, but because of the buyout  Festival, in October 1998, to produce
testing ground for the buyout program,    program, the taxpayers of Missouri     a truly amazing attraction. First, they
because Jefferson                                                                                       planted corn on
City was the first                                                                                      six acres of land
municipality to of-                                                                                     and then cut out
fer the program to                                                                                      of the 12 foot
its citizens. Coop-                                                                                     high field of
eratively, Jefferson                                                                                    corn a gigantic
City and SEMA                                                                                           500 by 350 foot
worked out some                                                                                         crop art repre-
“kinks.” For in-                                                                                        sentation of the
stance, officials dis-                                                                                  Missouri State
covered that county                                                                                     Capitol Build-
assessors in Cedar                                                                                      ing. This giant
City had seriously                                                                                      image was only
underestimated the                                                                                      visible from the
value of property in                                                                                    air, but visitors
                               Pavilion adjacent to the Katy Trail State Park in Cedar City.
the years before the                                                                                    to the Rendez-
flood, and the “fair                                                                                    vous Festival
pre-flood market price of the property” were able to save $1,258,247. After could enjoy the “sculpture” in yet
was about 15% undervalued. SEMA, 1995, most of the remaining citizens of another way. At ground level, the
therefore allowed a 15% mark-up in Cedar City decided that they too would image, cut from the live corn, was
the offering price to offset this take advantage of the buyout offer. actually an intersecting maze of paths
difficulty.7 This kind of flexibility and Today, only six people live in Cedar 7-12 feet wide. Visitors to the
fairness has been typical of the Flood City, and the emergency cost of helping Rendezvous Festival could pay a fee
Buyout Program generally. SEMA them has been greatly reduced.9                   and try to negotiate their way through
officials realized that to make the                                              the maze. Unfortunately, four days
program a success, it had to be                   What has happened to the before the festival, a flash flood on the
sensitive to local conditions.            land where housed once stood? Missouri River threatened to drown
                                          Jefferson City has built a picnic the whole area in water, and the
          By March 1, 1994, the first pavilion on part of it along with an festival had to be moved to higher
buyout had been approved, followed by extension of the KATY Bike Trail ground. It was not a total loss, for the
the first payment to an owner on May that connects that trans-Missouri threatened flood did not overtop the
11.8 Most of Cedar City’s houses were bicycle path with the Missouri River. levee system, and the resourceful
empty of people by May, 1995, when Jefferson City’s Park and Recreation Thompsons were able to harvest and
the water rose again. The effectiveness Department has rented garden plots sell the corn in the field. Adapting to

                                                                                                                Page 25
the sudden change in location they were also able to build a smaller maze out of hay bails at the new Rendezvous site,
which still made money for the FFA chapter.12 Cooperation, innovation, community spirit, feelings of security instead
of dread, relief to taxpayers—these are a few of the results that have made the Flood Buyout Program such a success
in the Cedar City/Jefferson City area of Missouri.

        Due to low elevation
        and close proximity to
        the Missouri River,
        Cedar City was sub-
        jected to catastrophic

                                                                      Gone .ishing.
                                                                   Even when facing certain
                                                                   disaster during the floods,
                                                                   Missourians exhibited a
                                                                   strong spirit and were
                                                                   able to maintain an excel-
                                                                   lent sense of humor.

                     Today Cedar City is
             mostly vacant lots. The ABB
             transformer plant is still there
             as are most of the businesses
             that were there before the flood,
             including the airport, but every
             empty lot marks the site of a
             home that will never again need
             to be defended from the rising
             waters of the Missouri.

Page 26
        ommerce, Missouri, 20 miles           Open Space surrounding the Commerce Post Office.
        southeast of Cape Girardeau
        on the Mississippi, was fa-
mous for two things in the 19th
century: it was the largest river port
between New Orleans and St. Louis,
and it flooded constantly. In more
recent history, it has lost the first
designation, but retains the second               As early as August 2, at least   offered a chance to escape an ongoing
because it floods, on the average of      40 residents attended the regular        cycle of flooding. As to the expense
every two years.1                         Commerce village board meeting to        of tearing down the houses, David
                                          voice their opinion and to hear debate   Mayberry, a supporter of the buyout
         In 1993, the flooding began in   about selling out through the buyout     option said: “This town already has
April and some Commerce residents         program. Under the terms of the early,   some abandoned houses. What’s a
spent the entire month out of their       pre-Volkmer buyout programs, the         few more? You’re talking about cost
homes. In July, however, the Missis-      state might buy some homes in the        to tear down houses—how much does
sippi flooded the town again, and by      floodplain that had sustained more       a book of matches cost?”
July 15 water had covered every street    than 50% damage.
in the lower part of the town, flooding                                                     Mayor Huck told the audience
over 70 houses. Of the 94 houses in                Debate was fierce, with the     that she had talked to Bill Emerson, the
Commerce, only 17 are built out of the    board members and residents clearly      town’s Congressional Representative,
floodplain. Half the residents moved to   divided into two groups. The anti-       and there had been some talk about
higher ground, and the rest, whose        buyout forces were informally lead       trying to get the Corps of Engineers to
homes still had any dry floor space,      by Ann Huck, the town’s 79 year old      build a levee in front of the town, but,
lived without electricity or potable      mayor, who had lived in Commerce         “with the assessed value of the area so
water.2                                   for 55 years. She asked the assembly     low [she] didn’t see a strong possibility
                                          to consider not only how much might      for a levee being built here anytime
         Unlike many flooded Mis-         be lost in revenue, but the expense of   soon.”4
souri towns, the flood waters did not     tearing down the empty houses once
recede quickly from Commerce. In          the city owned them. With a yearly               After the heated meeting, the
September, the streets and yards were     real estate tax revenue of only $1,000   pro-buyout group, suspecting that the
still covered with mud, there was still   to $1,200 dollars, she doubted the       majority of people in the town
standing water in the city park, and      town could afford to tear them down.     supported them, circulated a petition
some homes were without electricity.3                                              among the townspeople, asking the
Some residents thought it was time to             The pro-buyout group found       council to pursue a buyout. Although
seek a solution through the federal       a spokesman in board member Roy          80% of the residents signed that
buyout program.                           Jones, who felt that the buyout option   document, when it was presented at

                                                                                                                  Page 27
the village board’s October meeting,        joining the buyout program this time.9    that much lower, yet the cost in ‘95
that group voted 3 to 2 against                                                       was only $23 million dollars as
pursuing a buyout. Ominously, flood                  The village board took action.   compared with $390 million in ‘93.
waters returned to Commerce in              Acting on the strength of the response,
October for three weeks.5                   the board took a survey of damage in               The reason was simple: there
                                            Commerce and found between 40 and         were fewer valuable properties in the
         For the time being, the pro-       50 houses that had sustained damage.      floodplain for flood waters to de-
buyout forces could do nothing, since a     The board also found over 20 vacant       stroy.11 In fact, between the two
town could only apply for a buyout          lots in the floodplain, and hoped to      floods, Missouri counties and towns
with the approval of its governing          include the purchase of these in a        had purchased 3,260 homes in the
body. In November and December,             proposal to SEMA. Hoping to do            floodplains and were finalizing pur-
1993, many townspeople decided it           everything right, the village board       chases of 1,000 more. Officials in St.
was time to change the composition of       asked SEMA for personnel to help          Louis County estimated that by May
the village board. This group found a       them with the paperwork, and the          1995, they had spent $2.7 million to
leader in board member Roy Jones,           agency sent representatives to the        buy and eliminated 295 houses, which,
who campaigned for re-                                                                        in turn, had saved the county
election to the board as a                                                                    $7 million in emergency flood
pro-buyout candidate, along                                                                   relief payments during the ‘95
with three other Commerce                                                                     flood.12 With savings like
citizens. In January, 1994,                                                                   that, Governor Carnahan was
all four were elected to the                                                                  amenable to continuing the
board. The next time Com-                                                                     program.
merce faced a destructive
flood, the board would be                                                                            The federal govern-
ready to favorably consider                                                                 ment accommodated the Gov-
a buyout option.6                                                                           ernor by allocating $2.6 mil-
                                                                                            lion to Missouri for a fresh
         The “next time”                                                                    round of buyouts. That was
came in May, 1995, when                                                                     enough money for another 125
flood waters returned to                                                                    Missouri families to escape
Commerce, in quantities much larger         Open space in Commerce, Missouri, living in a floodplain. Commerce was
than 1993. The reason was that the          overlooking the Mississippi River      the single largest recipient of that grant
Ohio River, which empties into the                                                 and was allocated $1,756,767. The
Mississippi down river from Com-                                                   state would provide an additional
merce, was high and acted as a kind of      town. With their help, Commerce sent $680,000 to help Commerce pay the
barrier to the Mississippi, in turn         a buyout application to Jefferson City 25% matching share.13
backing its waters into towns like          on November 8, hoping for a positive
Commerce. This meant that every             response from the Governors Buyout              SEMA assisted Commerce by
house that had been damaged by water        Review Committee.10                    holding a local public meeting to
in ‘93 in Commerce, was damaged                                                    explain the program and sent personnel
again, plus a few more. Residents knew               The application coincided to help fill out the application forms.
the damage was greater.7 According to       with the grant of additional money to By November 30, approximately 20
resident Connie Thompson, “It’s             Missouri to fund another buyout people had signed up as potential
worse than ‘93. The water this year has     program that was similar to the one in customers of the buyout program.14
gotten places it has never gotten before.   1993. This additional money became
The town’s going to have to have            available because the state, using              After the initial help of
financial help to get back on its feet.”8   research compiled by SEMA, had SEMA, Commerce hired a grant
                                            begun to notice drastically reduced administrator, Laurel Moldenhauer, to
         By May 25, the State Emer-         costs for emergency flood relief when administer the program. From her
gency Management Agency (SEMA)              compared to relief figures after the office in St. Paul’s United Methodist
in Jefferson City was getting calls from    ‘93 flood. While the ‘95 flood waters Church in Commerce, Moldenhauer
Commerce residents asking about             were generally lower, they were not signed up an additional 20 residents.15

Page 28
          By the time the program was     out what the appraised value of their                Yet, the current mayor, Allen
completed in May, 1996, only 31           home was.                                   Wright, who owns an auto repair shop
Commerce homeowners had accepted                                                      in town, did not believe the buyout
a buyout offer.16 One of them was ex-              Tommy and Joyce Cox re-            “hurt us that bad.” Wright points out
mayor Ann Huck, who had opposed           ceived a $57,000 offer on their house       that some new businesses came to
the buyout in ‘93. She had accepted       that they considered worth $89,000.         Commerce: a Bed and Breakfast, a
$15,000 to move her house five blocks     Official assessors felt that the home       winery, and a new tavern. Ann
to the top of a hill overlooking the      may have been worth that if it had been     Williams is the owner of the new KDs
town. She told Laura Johnson of the       situated outside of a floodplain, but the   Tavern, and says business is good.
Chaffee Scott County Signal, “I’ve        threat of almost yearly flooding            Also, for the first time in years,
been in the floods since I was a little   considerably reduced its value.             somebody is building a new house in
girl. . .We should have done this years                                               Commerce, well above the flood
ago.”17 Roy Jones, the man who had                  In the end, 27 property owners    plain.19
run for mayor on a platform of            out of 58 applicants rejected the buyout
accepting the buyout, was also one of     price, and 19 residents did not choose               Commerce flooded again in
the first to accept a buyout offer.       to participate. Many were motivated by      May 1996. When it did, some people
                                          a fierce affection for their town and       began the almost yearly ritual of
         Although most people were        feared the buyout would encourage too       cleaning out their home once again.
happy, some were not. Many felt the       many people to leave, diminishing the       However, 31 homes will not have to be
government offers were too low, and       town.18 Dixie High felt that people who     cleaned out this time because nobody
in fact four residents left a meeting     accepted the buyout, “didn’t care what      lives there. At the time of this writing,
with SEMA officials on February 16,       happened to Commerce, they wanted           the 31 homes are just the shells of
at St. Paul’s Church when they found      to sell their homes and get out.”           houses waiting for the wreckers.20

                                                                                                                     Page 29
                               Excelsior Springs
         hroughout every other town in     system lost all pressure. City Hall,                 But the center of town also
         Missouri that suffered from the   called the Hall of Waters, after the       was the site of sixty homes and
         great deluge, flood waters        springs that flow into pools in the        apartment buildings, built along
gradually rose past the ability of         basement and give Excelsior Springs        Kennedy Street and South Marietta
protecting levees. In Excelsior Springs    its name, was flooded. In addition, the    Street, that were filled with sleeping
however, the damage was caused in          telephone system, police station, and      people when the flash flood hit.
one cataclysmic flash flood that roared    fire station all flooded, as was the       Nobody was killed, but a 5 ½ foot
through the center of town at 11:15 p.m.   lower level of the Daily Standard          wave that struck with tremendous
on August 12. Less than three hours        newspaper, along with Roosevelt            force damaged all structures in its
later the rains stopped and water levels   Middle School. In addition, the city’s     way. Jerry Gartner was in his house
began to slowly recede.1 Excelsior         three Omni buses were swept down           when a wall of water tore out the back
Springs, a town of 11,000, situated        stream.                                    wall, filled the living room, and swept
north east of Kansas City, is not on the                                              his couch with Patches, the family cat,
Missouri River where so much of the                                                   aboard outside and down the river.
flood damage took place. Rather it lies                                               “ sounded like a freight train
on the Fishing River whose two                                                        rolling through the house,” was the
branches, East Fork and Dry Fork meet                                                 way Mr. Gartner described the event.
in the center of town. At this point lay                                              The next day his couch was found
the town’s main business area, its                                                    one-half mile down the river lodged
municipal buildings, and the Elms                                                     ten feet up in a tree. Patches returned
Hotel where generations of tourists                                                   home that evening.7
have stayed while they enjoyed the
famous springs that give the town its                                                          By the next day, city officials
name.2                                                                                had met with representatives from
                                                                                      FEMA who briefed them on emer-
        When the flooding began in                                                    gency housing, food, and medical
early July throughout Missouri, it                                                    care.8 A week later, other government
seemed that Excelsior Springs might                                                   officials explained the procedure for
escape serious damage, despite the                                                    getting flood buyout money and loans
evacuation of both Missouri City and                                                  from the Small Business Administra-
Orrick which are south of Excelsior                                                   tion, although officials cautioned that
Springs. The flood waters came to                                                     loans were scarce.9 Clearly there was
within four miles of Excelsior                                                        need for a better financial solution,
                                           Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs.
Springs, and the water crews carefully     (Photo by Liz Roll of FEMA.)               especially when a similar flood
watched the town’s well fields that                                                   rocked the town again on September
supplied water to Excelsior Springs.                                                  22, creating similar havoc in the same
In mid-July crews built temporary                   Local businesses also were        area.10
sandbag levees around these well           ruined by the flash flood. John Davis,
heads.3 Assistant City Administrator       the owner of United Auto Services, a                Of course an answer came to
Molly McGovern and her husband,            local repair shop, lost his shop and       many Excelsior Springs residents
Police Chief John McGovern, began          tools but was able with the help of        when Harold Volkmer’s legislation to
to hope that perhaps this time,            friends to drive most of the cars out of   expand and simplify the buyout
Excelsior Springs might escape flood       the building to safety. An added           program was enacted. Before Christ-
damage.4 Instead, the town got the         tragedy for the town was the flooding      mas, 1993, Molly McGovern, as
“worst flood in history,” according to     of the lower floor of the Elms Hotel       Assistant City Administrator, began
then city manager, Craig Hubler.5          that ruined the indoor track and           processing applications for residents
Almost all of the city’s services were     swimming pool. A week later, hotel         interested in the buyout program. With
destroyed. Municipal water was not         staff were using nets to capture           the assurance on May 6, 1994, that at
only contaminated, but the city water      catfish that were caught in the pool.6     least some of the funds had been

Page 30
approved, McGovern was able to
arrange for Excelsior Springs to
borrow money to begin the buyout
process. Most people who had lost or                                                                      Excelsior Springs
seen their homes damaged in August                                                                        Buyout Property
and September were willing to apply.                                                                      flooded in 1998
A few hold outs were convinced to join                                                                    floods (photo by
                                                                                                          Liz Roll of FEMA).
when in April, 1994, another flash
flood crashed through the center of
town, and devastated the same area
once more.12

          Initially, some of the home-                McGovern also told her audi-                  A detailed article appears in
owners were suspicious. Some ques-           ence that 12 homeowners had ex-              the Daily Standard on May 8, 1996,
tioned the wording of an informational       pressed interest and three had gone so       under the title “Flood buyout program
letter McGovern had sent explaining          far as to request appraisals. Further-       about to end.” The article, written by
the buyout program. They were                more, one family had already closed          Gene Hanson, who had done some of
disturbed by a statement that said a         the deal for the buyout the day before.13    the first reporting on the flood and the
homeowner’s future use of the                                                             buyout, gave a detailed breakdown of
property could be compromised if                       The buyout program soon            the money spent so far to move 78
their home had received greater than         gained momentum in Excelsior Springs.        families out of the floodplain.
50% damage in last year’s flood. Of          On August 16, the City Council
course this only meant that it would be      approved a new application for a                      It listed the total amount
difficult to live in such a home, not that   $360,000 grant to assist property            spent so far as: $1,190,583 spent for
the government was using the 50%             owners who had been flooded out and          acquisition of sites, $199,349 spent
damage mark to force people out.             who wanted to move out of the flood-         for demolition, relocation costs of
                                             plain. This was supplemental to the          $156,985, title work $14,122, ap-
        At an August 7 meeting,              earlier approved funds and was made to       praisals $2,650, administrative costs
McGovern stressed the voluntary              the Missouri Housing Development             $52,657, and National Flood Insur-
nature of the buyout program. At the         Commission. Its goal was to provide          ance Program refunds at $3,180.
same time she clearly stated the             gap financing, or the difference be-         FEMA through Missouri’s State
obvious, that damaged “homes would           tween what a family received from the        Emergency Management Agency
probably not find [other] buyers...          buyout and the price of a replacement        supplied $897,000 for the program
because they are in the floodplain...” It    home. At the same meeting, the               and community development block
was possible she said that if they did       Council took control of two properties       grants provided the remainder.
not take advantage of the offer “they        sold in the buyout program.14
could lose their entire investment” and                                                            SEMA officially listed the
would eventually have to “just walk                   From that point the program         buyout project closed on October 6,
away from a home.” She reassured the         took off, and subsequent issues of the       1996. The “payoff” for this buyout
owners that the damage estimates to          Daily Standard listed house after house      project came during the first week of
their homes were done by the local fire      —frequently with pictures—being              October, 1998, when Excelsior Springs
department, and that those who stayed        torn down by wreckers.15 An article in       suffered another flash flood. This time
in the area would have to raise their        the January 16, 1995, issue of the Daily     only two residences were at risk
homes above the usual level of a flood.      Standard reported that a total of $1.8       instead of more than 70 that had stood
                                             million had been approved at state and       in the area in 1993. Using the amount
         Another group of homeown-           federal levels. The article also said that   of water in the basement of City Hall as
ers had heard rumors that money had          more than 70 properties had been             a guide, Assistant City Manager Molly
been received in May and were angry          purchased, with 14 already demol-            McGovern estimated that the latest
because it had not been distributed.         ished. The article granted the process       flood and the one in 1993 involved
Obviously this rumor was related to the      was slow “given the necessary paper-         roughly the same amount of water.
May approval of the grant; no money          work, like appraisals and title work, yet    Obviously the buyout program had
had, at this point, been received.           the tone of the article was positive.”       once again proved to be effective.16

                                                                                                                         Page 31

        annibal, Missouri, was one
        of the lucky towns that faced
        destruction from a flooded
river and survived. That this hap-
pened was due to Tom Sawyer and
Huck Finn. Ever since Mark Twain
wrote about these two mid-nine-
teenth century boys, Hannibal has
derived a good part of its income
from the tourist trade. The towns-
people have carefully nurtured the
historic buildings in the town to
create a historic atmosphere. More
than 100 buildings in the downtown
                                                    Flood Disaster Relief Center in Hannibal, Missouri
area are on the National Historic
                                         west for six blocks along the north       Hannibal to action. Many feared that
        Yet, the Mississippi River       edge of Bear Creek.3 After the ‘93        floodwaters might reach 32 feet and
has always been a real threat to this    flood, the Corps of Engineers esti-       overtop the levee. So by July 10,
tourist Mecca. As far back as 1950,      mated that the flood wall had more        volunteers began to fill and stack
the Army Corps of Engineers had          than paid for itself by preventing        sandbags on top of the levee raising it
recommended that Hannibal build a        more than $14,500,000 in damage to        another two feet.5
flood wall to protect its historic       downtown Hannibal.4
downtown. Townspeople were re-                                                               Other volunteers also put a
luctant because of the projected cost            But the flood wall did not        protective collar of sandbags around
of such a structure. That reluctance     protect all of Hannibal. South of the     the city’s electrical substation at Cave
gradually changed when the Missis-       flood wall , along the northern bank of   Hollow and around the water pumping
sippi River threatened to inundate       Bear Creek, were hundreds of homes,       station at Bridge Street.6 These
the town eight times between 1960        that sustained substantial damage in      protective measures paid off. On July
and 1986.1 In l989, local business-      the flood of ‘93. As early as April 15,   25, floodwaters reached 31.6 feet with
men, banks, and the city government      1993, the Mississippi River rose          every indication of going still higher.
raised $850,000 as the city’s share of   nearly six feet above flood stage         Then, Hannibal got a break at the
the $5,800,000 price tag for a flood     which caused the waters of Bear           expense of people living across the
wall. The Federal government had         Creek that run into the big river to      Mississippi in East Hannibal and in
already agreed to pay most of the        back up, overflow the rivers banks,       Hull, Illinois. The Sny Levee guarding
cost.                                    and wash into homes on Jefferson and      those two towns broke and water
                                         Ely Streets. This became only a taste     covered 45,000 acres of Illinois
        Construction began in April      of what was to come. Heavy rains          farmland. That break, however, caused
1990, and was completed barely one       throughout April and on into May and      the river level at Hannibal to drop four
year before the 1993 flood began. The    June raised the Mississippi to 28.7       feet in eight hours.7 Although the river
flood wall sits 12 feet high and 3,650   feet. This was higher than the 28.59      would rise again, it never again came
feet long.2 It runs from just north of   feet recorded in the 1973 flood, and      close to the 31.6 feet mark.
the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge           the Corps of Engineers estimated the
between the Mississippi River and the    river would go higher still. This                Nevertheless, a lot of damage
town for 25 blocks and then turns        record level spurred the people of        had been done. In August when City

Page 32
Engineer, Bob Williamson, inspected      ment of Natural Resources had to                   The closing on houses con-
homes in the Bear Creek area between     study the condemned homes, but             tinued until January 23, 1996, by
Collier Street and Woodrow Avenue,       only a few of the Bear Creek houses        which time Hannibal had purchased
he found 100 homes that had been         were historically significant, and the     116 properties.17 By that time,
flooded for more than a week,8           buyout program continued without           Hannibal had experienced another
Williamson made a later appraisal of     significant delays. Williamson and         flood when in 1995 the Mississippi
flood damage and found that 77 of        city officials distributed question-       River and Bear Creek once more
these homes needed to be con-            naires, held meetings, and explained       overflowed their banks. This time, as
demned.9                                 the process to homeowners.                 had happened in so many other
                                                                                    Missouri towns, no people were
        Over 400 people who had                   The conditions were the same      driven out of their homes, and no
lived in other inundated structures      in Hannibal as for so many other           homes were ruined. The people had
were forced to find emergency            Missouri towns. Homes were pur-            moved to higher ground and the
shelter, returning to their homes        chased at their fair market, pre-flood     houses had been bulldozed down.18
would require extensive repair.10        value. The dollar amount given the
Before the flood, city ordinances had    homeowner at closing had deducted                   Hannibal has plans for the
been in effect that required residents   from it any previous federal insurance     land that had once been vulnerable
forced by a flood to evacuate their      payments and emergency advances            floodplain housing. On 7th Street, near
homes and to raise their foundations     for temporary repairs. The city            Bear Creek, Hannibal has just closed
above the 100 year flood mark, if        received title to the land with the        the city dump that operated there since
those homes had sustained damage of      stipulation that no dwellings or           1995. The land will be raised seven
more than 50%. Most of the homes         business buildings could be built          inches to get it above the usual flood
along Bear Creek had.11 For many of      there in the future.                       level, and then three soccer fields and
these people, the buyout program                                                    six basketball courts will be built with
would be a godsend.                              Bob Williamson also applied        accompanying parking lots and
                                         for more money, and in April, 1995,        restroom facilities. Soccer has recently
        The number of homes dam-         Hannibal received word that an             become popular in Hannibal among
aged in Hannibal was so large, that      additional $376,000 was coming             the young, and the land that once was a
state government moved quickly to        from SEMA to add to the block grant        burden, can now be an asset.
offer help through the buyout pro-       money. The money meant that
gram. On December 10, 1993,              Hannibal could buy additional prop-                 Along the riverfront, in front
Governor Carnahan’s office an-           erty, and Williamson added 25              of the levee that saved the town, the
nounced that Hannibal could get as       additional properties to the 80 the city   city acquired more lots with the
much as $1.5 million through a           had originally designated for the          buyout program. The city will use
hazard mitigation grant from SEMA        buyout.14                                  the land to build a public recreational
and a community development block                                                   trailer park/campground where tour-
grant from the Department of Eco-                By April 18, the city had          ists can stay while participating in
nomic Development to buy flood           finished negotiations and paid for 14      the National Tom Sawyer Days
damaged homes, if the owners would       flood damaged homes, and was               Festival that runs from July 1-4
sign the property over to the city and   negotiating for 10 more.15 These           every year. Hannibal’s normal popu-
move out of the floodplain.              homes were purchased with the              lation of 18,000 swells to nearly
                                         block grant money. On May 21,              90,000, as people come to watch or
         Hannibal’s Mayor, Richard       however Hannibal used some of the          participate in fence painting and frog
Schwartz, was supportive of the          SEMA money to buy five more                jumping contests, buy crafts, tour
program. He felt the buyout could        homes. These payments were deliv-          historic homes, and watch or partici-
“immunize the community from future      ered to the owners on the steps of         pate in the Tom Sawyer/Becky
destruction.”12 The Mayor hoped that     City Hall with Representative              Thatcher contest.19 Once this project
as many as 200 families would relocate   Volkmer handing checks to each             is completed and the trailer park/
out of the Bear Creek area.13            owner collectively totaling $42,600.       campground is finished, land that
                                         At that time, Bob Williamson               once cost the City of Hannibal and
        Because of the historical sig-   estimated the city would buy 38            the State of Missouri money, will
nificance of Hannibal, the Depart-       more homes by June 3.16                    generate dollars instead.

                                                                                                                   Page 33
          Hartsburg and Boone County
       he south Boone County town          endured flooded basements in the first      sustained damage of over 50%, the
       of Hartsburg, population 131,       onslaught. This time water rose into        owner would have to raise it a foot
       sits about three-fourths of a       the sanctuaries, and church members         above the 100 year floodplain level.
mile from the Missouri River. This         hauled the pews and pianos out of both      In most of Hartsburg, that meant four
picturesque town’s residents either        buildings to high ground. Mayor             feet. Nancy Grant, the town’s Flood
farm or commute to jobs in either          Floyd Steelman ordered the sewer            Relief Coordinator, feared that the
Jefferson City or Columbia, both of        pumps shut off, and Union Electric          independently-minded citizens might
which are about fifteen miles away -       Power Company shut off electricity          simply defy that rule and rebuild
Columbia to the north; Jefferson           and gas in the town. The Post Office        without raising their homes.
City to the south. In 1993, about the      closed temporarily while the postmas-
only businesses in town were two           ter moved operations to Ashland,                     Grant reminded the citizens
restaurants whose best customers           seven miles away.                           that failure to comply could result in
were bicycle riders who rode the                                                       the town being dropped from the
KATY Trail from Jefferson City or                    Yet, the town’s people refused    National Flood Insurance Program.
Columbia.                                  to give up. Instead they retreated to the   To compound these problems, Mayor
                                           center of town and hastily built a          Floyd Steelman resigned and the most
         Before 1993, a flood had not      sandbag wall five feet high, to protect     active of the town’s city councilmen,
found Hartsburg for 30 years. High         the twelve buildings that had escaped       Glen Klemme died.5
water had threatened, but a Corps of       the first flood. Termed the “Hartsburg
Engineers levee had kept Hartsburg         Wall” by the approximately 90 people                 In the midst of this disorgani-
dry for years. Throughout June in          who maintained it, the wall ran from the    zation and confusion, some residents
1993, however, Hartsburg residents         Hartsburg Hitching Post Café several        received first word of Representative
watched the Missouri rise. Citizens        blocks through town to the Senior           Volkmer’s new buyout program. At
organized into shifts to raise the         Citizens Center.2                           first, the program received little
Corps’ levee even higher. This                                                         support. Linda Hilgedick, a Hartsburg
worked, until five inches of rain fell              By July 31, the water was          resident, felt few people would apply
over the area in less than 24 hours        dropping—this time permanently. By          because the majority of people had
between Wednesday July 7, and              August 12, the water was out of the         already moved into their homes or
Thursday July 8. The Missouri crested      town. Somebody put up a sign on main        were in the final stages of painting
Thursday morning at 33 feet, one foot      street: “Hartsburg Thanks Everyone,         and carpeting.6
higher than the height of the levee and    Hell of a Try!”3
its additional sandbag reinforcement.                                                          On December 16, The
A hole 400 feet wide opened, letting                People patiently began to          Hartsburg Hot Line, written for the
water pour through. Next, part of the      rebuild. Many houses were not               Ashland Boone County Journal by
levee south of town also broke and 2-      covered by flood insurance because          Nancy Grant and Shirley Thomas
8 feet of water soaked all but 12 out of   the residents honestly believed that        mentioned that the Hartsburg City
50 houses in the town.1                    their homes were not in the flood-          Council was studying Volkmer’s
                                           plain.4 Most people in Hartsburg had        buyout bill. Two weeks later, on
         By July 22, it seemed to be       really not considered flooding a threat.    December 30, the Ashland Boone
over. The water dropped a foot, and        They neither knew where the flood-          County Journal mentioned in a front
some families began to cautiously          plain was, nor were they familiar with      page article that Southern District
creep back to their homes to survey        flood regulations. Many were incredu-       Commissioner Karen Miller would
the damage. Then on July 25, the           lous when the Federal Emergency             hold a meeting on January 5 in
heavy rains came back, and the water       Management Agency’s Sharon Reigel           Hartsburg to inform flood victims
started to rise again; this time it rose   came to town to inform them during a        about the buyout program. She
even higher. Both the Baptist Church       town meeting, that in order to rebuild a    reminded people that the buyout
and United Church of Christ had only       house in the floodplain that had            application deadline was January 15,

Page 34
and that this meeting would provide                   The buyout process became a         KATY Trail bicycle path, and the third
information for Hartsburg and Boone         major news item in the Ashland Boone          as a green space between two houses.
County citizens alike who might want        County Journal. An article from the           The Governor recommended a total of
to apply for assistance under the           January 20 issue explained that the           $100,500 to buy the houses in
program. Miller noted however, that         local officials and the State Emergency       Hartsburg, and $221,000 to buy the
many Hartsburg families had already         Management Agency in Jefferson City           Boone County homes.11 At that point,
rebuilt their homes. A separate note        were helping residents fill in the 404        the formal assessment of the property
stated that the city council had            Hazard Mitigation Grant Application,          began. City officials presented the
already begun to contact homeowners         and although it had been a complicated        owners with an offer based on their
whom they suspected might be                process, the documents were finished          pre-flood assessment of a house’s
potential candidates. It further invited    by the January 15 deadline.9 By               value, minus money that might have
people who might be interested to           February 10, the Journal noted that “all      been received previously from FEMA
contact the city council.7                  applications and information have             or paid out in flood insurance.12 Over
                                            been forwarded to the various agencies        the ensuing month, the owners
         On January 5, the city council     for consideration on the buyout               considered and accepted the offers.
talked to a number of residents who         process. It is now a wait and see
were interested in the buyout. Commis-      attitude for the ... residents affected.”10          On February 2, 1995, Mayor
sioner Miller’s presence was helpful                                                      Mike Rodemeyer presented each
and necessary because a number of                    By February 15, the Journal          owner with a check.13 According to
houses in the Hartsburg settlement area     carried the news that the Governor’s          Buck Katt, Deputy Director of SEMA,
were actually not in the corporate limits   Buyout Review Committee in                    in an interview with the Columbia
of the town, but in Boone County. She       Jefferson City had recommended                Missourian, the average price paid was
reminded people that the rules of the       funding for three homes in Hartsburg          $25,000.14
buyout program stipulated there must        and seven in Boone County. The
be separate applications for houses in      Governor had accepted this recom-                      By May 18, 1995, Hartsburg
Boone County and ones in Hartsburg,         mendation and had moved the                   had contracted with Enoch Construc-
even though the houses might sit next       applications on to FEMA.                      tion Company to tear down the four
to each other. This meeting made clear                                                    houses at a total cost of $23,400, with
the basic rules of the buyout program,               The buildings that did not           demolition to start by May 27.15
and five Hartsburg residents began the      receive the committee’s approval were         Ironically the demolition had to be
application process at the meeting,         businesses that did not qualify for the       delayed until June 1.
along with twelve people whose              program; the buyout targeted only
houses were in Boone County.                primary residential dwellings. Harts-                  On May 25, the Hartsburg
                                            burg Mayor Mike Rodemeyer cau-                area flooded again. Happily most of
         At this meeting, the council-      tioned residents that FEMA still              the town was safe behind the next
men and Commissioner Miller in-             needed to review the applications.            levee that the Corps of Engineers had
formed the residents that they esti-        However, if they were accepted, and           completed in September 1994, but
mated the houses outside of Hartsburg       the buildings were torn down, the city        twelve houses, whose owners had
in Boone County were collectively           council hoped to definitely use one of        decided not to participate in the
worth $350,000 and those in Hartsburg       the lots for a church parking lot,            buyout, sustained minor damage from
$195,000. These would be the values         another for a small park next to the          water.16
they would forward with the applica-
tions. However, they warned the
applicants that FEMA’s appraisal
might determine the houses to be worth
less. John Thomas, a councilman told
applicants that the property, if sold,
would revert to the city or county. He
speculated that the lots, once cleared,
might be used as a park or a parking lot
for one of the local churches.8
                                                                        Broken flood control levee

                                                                                                                        Page 35
Herman purchased whole blocks of flood-prone                   Open space enhances the appearances of privately
properties under the buyout program.                           owned homes in the community of Hermann, Missouri

         ermann, Missouri, the county      across the Missouri River, and some       took advantage of additional govern-
         seat of Gasconade County,         worried that giant fuel tanks floating    ment money to protect the commer-
         is no stranger to flooding, but   down the river might destroy the          cial basis of the town.
the flood of ‘93 was memorable. The        Highway 19 Bridge over the Mis-
water levels were higher than ever         souri.2                                            Like any town afflicted with
before, more commercial and resi-                                                    natural disaster, Hermann quickly
dential property was devastated, and                Yet, Hermann is resilient; its   applied to FEMA for disaster relief
the flood waters stayed for weeks          inhabitants are the descendants of        money, and by November 23, it had
instead of days. The flood waters of       German settlers who came to central       received the first payment from that
1986, the second worst flood in            Missouri in the mid-nineteenth cen-       agency to repair infrastructure that
Hermann’s long history covered parts       tury. An editorial, appearing in the      the flood had ruined.3 But the town
of the city for only four days; whereas    November 23, 1993, issue of the           was also interested in the long-term
in 1993, the river at Hermann was          Hermann Advertiser Courier, written       solutions, and so the city council was
above flood stage for 51 straight days.    by Mayor John Bartel, takes the crisis    also interested in the buyout program.
Furthermore, the flood waters seemed       of the flooding in stride. He thanked
to recede only to suddenly reappear -      the community for their united efforts             Officials from Hermann heard
three times between July 6 and 31,         in battling the flood, he characterized   the first rumors about the buyout
and once again in September.               the summer of flooding as an exciting     program on September 7, 1993, when
                                           and challenging time, and he invited      they, along with leaders from neigh-
         The town was also nearly          Hermann’s citizens to become part of      boring communities met with person-
isolated by water and was cut in half      the solution.                             nel from Missouri’s State Emergency
when water from Frene Creek, which                                                   Management Agency.4 On October
flows into the Missouri, overflowed                 A good portion of that           24, Harold Volkmer, whose congres-
the bridges on East First and Sixth        solution proved to be Hermann’s           sional district included Hermann,
Street.1 Hermann’s police chief, Bob       wholesale acceptance and participa-       Missouri, explained his proposed
Sitton, supervised the building of         tion in the buyout program. Not only      plan to improve the existing legisla-
emergency roads to keep the city           did Hermann’s residents quickly and       tion governing buyouts of property on
connected. The town lost its phone         successfully apply for money to           floodplains. His plan made more
system, the schools had to be closed       purchase residential homes habitually     federal money available for the
since one quarter of the students lived    threatened by the floods, but they also   program, and revised the formula by

Page 36
which the Federal Emergency Man-                 By July 5, Hermann’s appli-        dences were on the list for demolition,
agement Agency calculated how            cation for money was approved, and         and Barbara Bohley, the administra-
much it could distribute to state        on August 9, 1994, the first residential   tor of Hermann’s buyout program,
emergency management agencies for        buyout money arrived. Hermann              reported that Hermann had requested
use in buying flood threatened           received $494,750 to buy residential       additional money to buy “five or six
properties. To everyone’s surprise,      property, along with $150,000 from         more homes.”12
Volkmer’s bill moved quickly through     another government grant to pay for
the House and the Senate, and was        demolition of the houses.9 Later, in                At the end of the buyout
signed into law by President Clinton     October, 1994, Hermann received            program, 22 residential properties
on December 2, 1993.5                    additional money to fund a buyout of       had been purchased.13 The only
                                         commercial property from the Mis-          problem with an otherwise smooth
         Hermann’s City Council,         souri Department of Economic De-           buyout occurred when demolition
lead by City Administrator Terry         velopment.10                               bulldozers demolished a home at 200
Helton, moved just as quickly to                                                    E. Fifth Street. Although a pre-
apply for the buyout money. On                    In May 1995, Hermann once         demolition investigation indicated
February 22, 1994, the Council           more faced record floods. This time        that the house was a modern structure,
submitted the paperwork to the           the floodwaters were not as high, but      the inner core of the house was
federal government through the           they remained over flood stage for 85      actually an “old frame house dating to
Meramec Regional Planning Com-           straight days—a month longer than in       1840.” The destruction was unfortu-
mission for $2.2 million in buyout       1993.11 Despite these repeated inun-       nate, but unavoidable, since the
funds.6 The request asked for money      dations, there was room for optimism.      historic section of the house had been
to repair infrastructure and to buyout                                              completely covered by later construc-
residential and commercial property.7             Before the 1993 flood, 69         tion, and was only discovered after
                                         property owners had flood insurance.       destruction of the house had begun.14
        Hermann’s prospects for re-      An article in the Advertiser Courier
ceiving money improved when in the       on September 6, 1995, reported that                 Today, the land that was
last week of May 1994, Missouri          now there were 58. The article stated      previously devastated by flood waters
received additional money from the       that the reason for the decline could      in 1993 and 1995 is empty, except for
Federal Department of Housing and        “be attributed to property owners          a few holdouts who have raised their
Urban Development. Jill Friedman         participating in the federal and state     houses to what they hope will be a
assured the reporter that Governor       buyout programs.”                          level above the next flood. Most of
Carnahan was committed to funding                                                   the land is covered with grass. A
the residential buyout program first,             By October 4, 1995, the first     portion has been turned into a soccer
and that “commercial property would      buyout homes in Hermann were being         field, and another part is being used as
be helped after the residential          demolished on West Eighth and Ninth        a parking lot for businesses located on
requests were addressed.”8               Streets. An additional thirteen resi-      nearby higher ground.15

                                                                                                                   Page 37
                                Jefferson County
                                          (Including Festus and Crystal City)1

      loods have always threatened         Rising water from the Big River           to rise another two feet during the
      Jefferson County because three       forced 200 people out of trailer courts   next two days, with leaks appearing
      rivers flow through its area. Six    and isolated houses. Flood water          along three week old levees, and with
times between 1973 and 1993, flood         covered roads and isolated people         more rain predicted, the situation at
waters from the Mississippi, Mer-          including the 30 residents of the         the end of July appeared hopeless.
amec, and Big River have devastated        hamlet of Sulpher Springs. All along      Faulkenberry believed “it was all
the county’s towns and unincorporat-       the banks of the Mississippi, Mer-        about to go under.” Everyone agreed
ed areas. The worst was in 1993.           amec, and Big River, throughout the       with her.4
Although the threat began in May, by       month of July, hundreds of Jefferson
July floodwaters threatened most of        County residents joined together in                However, levees in Colum-
the county.                                spontaneous groups dictated by            bia and Valmeyer, Illinois, broke.
                                           geography to build makeshift levees       This ruined thousands of acres of
       In Arnold, 500 families evacu-      protecting mobile homes and houses.       Illinois farmland, but it eased the
ated areas near the Meramec River on                                                 pressure on dozens of Jefferson
July 28, and on August 1, a main levee              On Sunday, July 18, Jeffer-      County levees. Water levels dropped
along the Starling Airport Road            son County officials met in Hillsboro     at Arnold, Festus, Crystal City, and
collapsed which released flood water       to assess the damage, and to make         Kimmswick. The dropping level of
over a mobile home park. In Festus,        contingency plans for recovery. The       the Mississippi also eased the
37 businesses and 35 houses were           county’s economic development di-         backflow on the Meramec and Big
flooded. Crystal City lost its water       rector, Patrick Lamping, reported that    Rivers. On Monday, August 2, it
treatment plant, its post office, the      350 businesses in the county had been     looked as if the worst was over.
main intersection in town was              forced to close, sewers had collapsed     Kimmswick Mayor Martha Patterson
flooded, and 30 families were forced       or were backed up, 3,000 workers          could boast, “We’ve fought it, and
from their homes. In tiny Kimmswick        were involuntarily idle, $800,000 in      we’re winning.”5
the threat of flooding, at one point,      wages had been lost, and retail sales
caused the entire population to            had declined by $2.5 million.                      During the next week, the
evacuate.                                                                            threat of flooding seemed to be
                                                    Bill Koehrer, the county’s       passed. The cities and hamlets of
       In Herculaneum, flood waters        director of public works reported that    Jefferson County began to clean up.
covered the town’s main intersection,      14 roads in the county were               In Crystal City and Festus, city
caused the evacuation of two trailer       underwater, and an official from          officials called for volunteers to
courts, and forced The Doe Run lead        Union Electric reported that 400          remove the sandbags, and Rick
smelter, the towns largest employer,       people were without power. Jefferson      Turley, City Administrator for Fes-
to shut down. At Kimmswick and             County Presiding Commissioner, Eliz-      tus, invited other municipalities to
Herculaneum, the Mississippi rose to       abeth Faulkenberry noted that by July     bring their discarded sandbags to
45 feet which was six feet higher than     20, the county had spent “$975,000        Festus. The sand could be used to
its record crest in 1973; this water       on flood prevention and emergency         build an extension onto the runways
forced hundreds from their houses          services.”3                               at the Festus Municipal Airport.
and flooded the downtown areas of
both towns.2                                       By the evening of July 31,                 Herculaneum        officials
                                           county officials told levee builders      cleaned up refuse from the flood off
        The unincorporated parts of        and residents to stop working and to      their streets, and Elizabeth Faulken-
Jefferson County were also flooded.        evacuate. With river crests predicted     berry and the other Jefferson County

Page 38
Commissioners contracted with Mer-       half of the 65 buildings in the Arnold    bill through Congress. Encouraged by
amec Hauling to collect and haul         floodplain had been bought out since      the possibility of the bill’s passage,
away debris throughout the county.6      the US government first initiated a       Jefferson County, Festus, and Crystal
                                         buyout program in 1980. The cleared       City began surveys of flood-damaged
        These clean up efforts also      land totaled 400 acres and had been       property within their boundaries in
caused county and municipal officials    turned into a greenway made up of         anticipation of the bill’s passage into
in Jefferson County to think about       wildlife and recreation areas. Eric       law. When President Clinton did sign
prevention. In fact, as early as the     Knoll, Arnold City Administrator,         the bill on December 2, people in
Hillsboro conference on July 18,         saw the flood of ‘93 as an opportunity    Jefferson County were ready to
Elizabeth Faulkenberry, had broached     to continue the buyout policy that he     participate.11
the topic of a possible buyout of        felt would eliminate the flood
houses, along the Meramec and            problem for Arnold completely. He                 In Festus, Rick Turley had
Mississippi Rivers, as a means of        had plans to remove more than 200         compiled a list of 25 possible buyout
minimizing future flood damage.7         houses and mobile home pads from          properties as early as November 5. It
                                         the floodplain.9                          included houses in the vicinity of
         The buyout idea quickly                                                   South 4th Street and South Adams
became a “hot” topic throughout the               With this endorsement, other     and estimated the city would need
county. On September 10, at the Festus   Jefferson County officials and resi-      $894,000 to buy the homes and
City Hall, county officials as well as   dents were bound to be interested. At     $100,000 to tear them down.12
officials from Crystal City and Festus   first, FEMA officials gave little
held a meeting with SEMA officials to    encouragement. In an interview with                Jefferson County also had
discuss various kinds of relief. A       the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Stephen      identified 554 structures in unincor-
buyout was at the top of the list.       Harrel, a FEMA official from Kansas       porated areas of the county that might
Commissioner Faulkenberry and Fes-       City explained. . . [that a] “buyout      be buyout candidates. Tabulation of
tus City Administrator Rick Turley       will come slowly.” . . . [He was] “con-   the positive responses to a question-
were both interested. SEMA officials     cerned that a whole lot of people are     naire sent to the owners of these
explained that the buyout option was     getting their hopes up for something      properties revealed that 106 property
available only to flood victims, and     that may not materialize.”                owners of 266 of the structures might
that, while the buyout program would                                               be interested. The questionnaire also
pay the pre-flood value of a home, the            Harrel did, however, correct     revealed that only 22 of those 106
county or municipality would have to     the false impression that only home-      owners had flood insurance. Many of
secure a 25% match.                      owners with flood insurance could         the structures, the documents re-
                                         apply for the program. He clarified       vealed, had been repeatedly damaged
          After the meeting, Turley      that it was possible for uninsured        over the last decade by flooding.
told reporters that perhaps Festus       homeowners to participate too. He
could seek a community development       also cited Arnold as “the region’s                The specific sites included
block grant to pay its share, but “it    buyout expert,” because it had gotten     mobile homes at Covered Bridge
was unclear if a town could use that     “federal aid for three floodplain         Mobile Home Park in the northeast
for its share.” Mayor Clifford Bins of   buyouts in the last decade.” Of           corner of the county; 41 houses and
Crystal City said that he would not      course, when the Post interviewed         lots in the River Bend Subdivision
seek a buyout, although 30 to 40         Harrel on September 20, he was            near the Big River; trailer homes at
individual homeowners in Crystal         speaking of the flood buyout program      the Blue Bell Mobile Home Park off
City had asked for one.8                 that was already in place. Representa-    Old Highway 141; and 19 other
                                         tive Harold Volkmer’s bill had not yet    properties scattered throughout the
         Following that meeting, the     been introduced to Congress.10            county. The estimated cost of the
concept of a buyout attracted more                                                 buyout was $3.5 million.
attention. Citizens of Arnold encour-             Even in the wake of this
aged the idea. Arnold, the largest       discouraging announcement, the buy-                Although Crystal City’s May-
town in Jefferson County had been        out idea continued to grow, especially    or, Clifford Bins, had earlier indicat-
actively interested in the buyout        when newspapers began to carry            ed his town would not participate,
option for over a decade. Over one-      accounts of the progress of Volkmer’s     some residents had been insistent,

                                                                                                                 Page 39
and 17 of them had persuaded the city     tee on December 29, 1993.15 Once        submitted requests for community
government to investigate the buyout      that committee heard a presentation,    development block grants to add to
option and to put their names on a list   it either rejected an application, or   this buyout money. Some community
as interested candidates. Their 17        recommended it to the Governor. The     development block grant funds could
houses were valued at $343,000.           Governor then made the request to       be used for buyouts, and some could
Crystal City’s City Clerk, Debbie         FEMA.                                   be used to pay for administrative
Johns, felt that “this was an                                                     costs, demolition, and moving ex-
opportunity for them [the owners] to               By March 5, all applicants     penses of buyout participants.16
have a base to purchase a house           had received positive answers from
somewhere else.”13                        FEMA. Jefferson County received                 A reminder of what the
                                          $3.5 million. The grant allowed         buyout program was supposed to
        One reason for the generally      Jefferson County to begin negotia-      prevent came in April, 1994, when
positive response to a buyout was the     tions on 91 flood damaged houses as     three days of heavy rain dropped ten
attitude many Jefferson County            well as Covered Bridge Mobile Home      inches of rain over the Big River and
residents had towards SEMA and            Park and Blue Bell Mobile Home          Meramec River basins. The threat of
FEMA, the two agencies they knew          Park.                                   flooding returned to some areas in
would administer any buyout pro-                                                  Jefferson County. Along the Big
gram. In the ‘93 flood both agencies               Elizabeth Faulkenberry told    River, the tiny settlements of Cedar
had collectively been responsible for     the Post that the money would “help a   Hill and Morse Mill experienced the
finding most of the relief dollars to     lot of people and will prevent          waters rising so suddenly that
help flood victims.                                                                        residents had to be evacuat-
                                                                                           ed by helicopter or boat.
         For instance, Stephen
and Donna Roberts, whose                                                                         At Arnold, floodwa-
mobile home was in Fenton                                                                ters rose to within three feet
(part of the town is in                                                                  of the crest in 1993, and
Jefferson County), praised                                                               several residents who had
FEMA for helping them with                                                               resisted the idea of a buyout
emergency money to repair                                                                said they would reconsider.
their mobile home and help                                                               Jerry Dunn, who spent April
them with rental of a new                                                                10 and 11 sandbagging his
mobile home pad. “They                                                                   house near the Starling
[FEMA] came down to Mc-                                                                  Airport Road, told Tim
Donald’s in Arnold and the                                                               O’Neil of the Post Dispatch
place was full of families. But                                                          that he had moved back to
in 10 minutes we gave them                Red Cross volunteers deliver meals             his house after the flood of
all the information they                  to victims and emergency workers.              ‘93 “because he never could
needed and [we] were on our                                                              get much information about
way.”14 FEMA’s word of mouth              properties from being flooded again federal buyouts.” He said, “[he’d]
reputation had already gone a long        in future years with the government study it harder this time.”17
way towards legitimatizing the buy-       paying for repairs.” Arnold, Festus,
out process. People in the area had       and Crystal City submitted requests,          Soon after the flooding in
every reason to expect a similar level    and these towns received positive April, Jefferson County and its
of help from the two agencies during a    news also.                            municipalities began the mechanics
buyout effort.                                                                  of the buyout process. Festus, Crystal
                                                   Arnold received $4.1 million City, and Jefferson County all hired
        With a head start, Jefferson      to buy 89 homes as well as several appraisers to assess the pre-flood
County, including Festus and Crystal      trailer courts. Crystal City received value of houses.
City, sent its municipal officials to     $232,800 to buy 17 homes, and Festus
Jefferson City to meet with Governor      received $288,000 to buy 15. These            In Festus, under the National
Carnahan’s Buyout Review Commit-          three cities and Jefferson County Historic Preservation Act of 1966,

Page 40
some houses were old enough to           buyout, the state approved funds for     also been victimized by floods in
make a historical study mandatory,       89. Later, funds were available for an   1995, Governor Carnahan announced
and the city had to hire historians      additional 41 houses whose owners        he would try to find additional funds
from the State Historic Preservation     had expressed interest in the program    to accommodate any homeowner
Office to make analyses. After these     in June 1994. By May 28, 1995,           who had missed an opportunity to try
preliminaries, the city officials gave   Jefferson County had closed on 75        the buyout in 1993.22 True to his
each homeowner a price value and         houses and was negotiating with 11       word, the Governor found additional
time to evaluate.18                      more homeowners.20                       money. For Jefferson County, that
                                                                                  meant an additional $900,000.23
        In Crystal City, the city                As Jefferson County was
administration followed the same         negotiating for these houses, another             By February 1997, Jefferson
procedure. Fourteen of the original 17   bout of heavy rain had caused            County had finished its buyout
applicants accepted the governments      flooding of the Meramec and Big          program. It had acquired 131 proper-
offer. In Festus, all applicants had     Rivers. Many of the people whose         ties along with a total of 118 pads at
accepted the offer.19                    homes were threatened had decided        two mobile home parks and one large
                                         to take the buyout offer and were        apartment complex.24 The cost of
         Jefferson County also fol-      already gone, but the onslaught          these purchases had been $3,122,758,
lowed the same procedure, but            frightened some additional people        ranking Jefferson County third in
because of the large numbers of          into exploring the buyout program.21     buyout funds expended after St.
applicants, the process took longer.                                              Charles County ($14,617,424) and St.
Of the 106 homeowners who had                    To help these individuals and    Louis County ($ 5,502,746).25
originally expressed an interest in a    others throughout the state who had

                                                                                                               Page 41
          Lincoln County and Winfield

        incoln County lies just north of   were covered. Sandbaggers, joined          calling county surveyor Bill Shea to
         St. CharlesCounty and has a 25    by National Guard troops of the            ask for details.6
         mile border with the Missis-      3175th MPs (Warrenton), fell back to
sippi. The floodplain along the great      the Pin Oak Levee and began to try to              Other Lincoln County resi-
river is a rich agricultural area with a   stop the water. But on July 10 this        dents were calling The Boonslick
few small towns scattered among its        levee gave way, flooding more              Regional Planning Commission,
fields. Winfield with 592 citizens in      farmland and forcing another 100           where Andrew Riganti placed their
1993, was the largest of these towns,      people to evacuate Winfield. North of      names on a list and forwarded it to the
but Old Monroe, Silex, and Foley           Winfield, flood waters covered al-         State Emergency Management
formed satellite communities.              most all of Foley and Silex, forcing all   Agency. By November 30, Riganti
                                           of its residents to leave. South of        had a list of 83 people who had
        Each of these farming commu-       Winfield, Old Monroe’s levee held,         expressed interest.
nities had experienced frequent flood-     but residents prepared to leave.2
ing. The last big one before 1993 had                                                         At this time much of the
been in 1973, when the Pin Oak Levee               From then on, levee after          information that people were getting
some three miles east of Winfield had      levee collapsed, 1100 homes suffered       was confusing. Newspaper accounts
been overtopped and hundreds of            flood damage (200 in Winfield),            show that the information was a
local farms flooded. Still, the resi-      2,700 parcels of farmland went             combination of what Representative
dents were confident that this time the    under—representing 30% of the farm         Volkmer proposed in his as yet un-
seven large levees maintained by the       land in Lincoln County, with an            passed bill, and what the original
Corps of Engineers along the rivers        appraised value of $29,304,310—and         buyout bill stipulated that had been
edge would hold.                           most of the county’s roads were            passed back in 1980.7
                                           covered.3 Sandbaggers did manage to
         On June 30, however, excep-       save part of Winfield by building a                 Finally, once President
tionally heavy rains began accompa-        levee along the top of Highway 79,         Clinton signed the bill on December
nied by high winds that blew the roofs     and in Elsberry, 12 miles north,           2, Congressman Volkmer scheduled
off some trailers in Winfield. The         workers saved the town by using            a meeting for officials from all over
river level steadily rose because after    cranes to lift and place concrete          the state on December 10 on the
weeks of rain the ground could absorb      highway dividers for a makeshift           Columbia Campus of the University
no more. By July 1, when weather           levee atop the Burlington Northern         of Missouri, to discuss details. At this
forecasters predicted a 36.3 foot crest,   Railroad embankment.4                      meeting people learned that the old
just 6 tenths of a foot below the                                                     federal/state cost share of 50/50 had
breakthrough crest of 1973, nervous                Residents moved into trailers      been changed to 75/25, and that the
county residents gathered to reinforce     supplied by FEMA and into shelters         25% could be financed with money
local levees.1                             maintained by the Red Cross, and           from a variety of sources including
                                           waited for the waters to go down.5         community development block
         Their efforts were no match                                                  grants.
for the force of the water. During the             On August 11, 1993, the Troy
night of July 3rd, part of the levee       Free Press carried a story about                   The same meeting also laid
located 1.5 miles from Mississippi         Representative Harold Volkmer’s            down rules about the voluntary nature
Lock and Dam 25 gave way. By               “Relocation” bill. That bill would         of the bill, outlined the process of
Sunday morning, floodwater had cut         eventually help 323 Lincoln County         inspection and appraisal for each
a 400 foot hole through the levee and      and Winfield residents to relocate out     property, and emphasized that any
the eastern edge of Winfield was           of the floodplain. The article gener-      homeowner could appeal the ap-
covered. At least 150 people fled their    ated interest among flood victims,         praised price and back out at any time
homes, and 4,000 acres of farm land        and within a week, residents were          during negotiations. In addition, the

Page 42
buyout would concentrate on homes         money to repair the home, was the            homes, at an average cost of $13,000
instead of businesses.8                   price offered to the homeowner. The          each.23 A month later that number had
                                          owner was free at that point to accept       grown to 280, and the county had
        The county commissioners          the offer, reject the offer, or appeal the   received an award for its handling of
selected the personnel at Boonslick       offered price.12                             the buyout program. The award was
Regional Planning Commission, head-                                                    the gift of the Missouri Association of
quartered in Warrenton, to organize               SEMA approved funds for              Counties and praised Lincoln not only
and administer the buyout. Residents      numerous buyouts in both Lincoln             for the efficiency of the buyout process
of Winfield, with a local government      County and Winfield. Initially SEMA          but also for its unique demolition
separate from the county, had to file a   had offered $3,479,360 to buy 243            process of the ruined homes.24
separate buyout application through       homes in Lincoln County, and
its city council. The council also        $713,000 to buy 30 homes in                           The award winning demoli-
selected Boonslick Regional Plan-         Winfield.19 In October, 1994, Lincoln        tion technique was the brain child of
ning Commission to guide them             County and Winfield received ap-             Chuck Freidrichs, Lincoln County’s
through the process.9 No matter who       proval for each to spend an additional       engineer and buyout coordinator. He
administered the buyout procedure,        $1 million if necessary to buy               felt the usual demolition method
the process was the same in both          homes.20                                     which involved a bulldozer smashing
Lincoln County and Winfield.                                                           a ruined home to rubble and carting
                                                  In one original program,             the ruined remains off to a landfill
        First, a survey had to ascer-     encouraged by Boonslick Regional             was wasteful.
tain damage. In Lincoln County, a         Planning Commission, Winfield of-
survey in March, 1994, revealed that      fered a new lot, well out of the                       Realizing that up to 80% of a
1,100 homes had sustained damage,         floodplain, as an even exchange for          home could be recycled, the materials
and nearly 300 homes scattered            the floodplain lot of any homeowner          used to build new houses, he hired 30
throughout the eastern edge of the        flooded out in ‘93. There were 75 lots       people, most of them unemployed, to
county had suffered more than 50%         available.17 About 12 floodplain             take each home apart and separate
damage.10 An earlier inspection in        victims took advantage of the offer.18       reusable items from the non-usable.
Winfield revealed that about 100                                                       Then the items were sold to people
homes, mainly in the Winfield Acres                By February 7, 1995, Lincoln        who wanted to rebuild or repair a
area, had suffered damages above          County had completed 140 buyouts.21          home. Freidrichs told reporters from
50%.11                                    The first buyout took place on July          the Post Dispatch that doors, ceiling
                                          26, 1994, when Alice Reimers signed          joists, bathtubs, vinyl siding, toilets,
         The initial survey was fol-      her flood damaged home over to the           sinks, attic insulation, plywood, two-
lowed by a contact through the mail to    county. She had lived there for 15           by-fours, and roof trusses were “hot
owners whose property qualified for a     years. She owned Alice’s Restaurant          items.” “Everything has a value to
buyout. The questionnaire asked           on Highway 79, and the business,             somebody,” he said. “Other places
people whether they were interested       spared by floodwaters, had been an           burn and bury, or come in with a high
in the program; it also asked them to     unofficial meeting place for people          lift and crush an entire house and put it
supply financial information about        participating in the buyout program.         on a truck. It’s stupid. These are good
the home. Owners had 30 days to           She moved to a new home in the               materials.” The program raised a half
return the application.                   nearby Darla Home Subdivision in             million dollars, paid the demolition
                                          Winfield. She told reporter Gregg            costs, and managed to tear down 260
        In the initial mailing, 243       Ochoa of the Lincoln County Journal          houses.25
homeowners in the county and 50           after she received her check, “I’m
homeowners in Winfield received           happy. I could have ended up with                     By October 26, 1996, when
questionnaires. Once returned, prop-      nothing.” She also credited county           buyout program ended, 323 houses
erties were appraised and assigned a      officials with how they had helped her       had been sold to the county.26 In
value based on the market value of the    with the buyout process.22                   Winfield, the program resulted in the
house prior to the flood. This value,                                                  buyout and demolition of 37 homes
minus any prior government pay-                 By November 7, 1995, Lin-              that traditionally had been most at risk
ments such as flood insurance or          coln County had purchased 270                during floods.27

                                                                                                                      Page 43
         Unlike other areas, where the   1994, however, the threat came not      increased.31 However, people do still
effectiveness of the buyout could be     from the Mississippi breaking through   live in the floodplain. A recent
measured during floods in 1994 and       levees, but from the Cuivre River,      investigation by the National Flood
1995, neither Lincoln County nor         where heavy rains on April 12, 1994,    Insurance Program, reveals that many
Winfield suffered much. This time        sent a sudden flash flood through the   who have rebuilt have done so either
when the flood waters came, the          town causing the evacuation of most     without securing a valid permit that
levees that the Corps of Engineers had   town residents.29 In 1995, Silex        requires homes there be elevated one
repaired, held and there was little      escaped serious flood damage as did     foot above the 100 year flood mark, or
damage to homes in Lincoln County        most of Lincoln County and              have elevated their homes using
or Winfield.26                           Winfield.30                             shoddy and inadequate building
                                                                                 materials and methods. In January,
        The only exception was in                Since the flood of       ‘93,   1996, high winds actually twisted one
Silex, a small unincorporated town       Lincoln County has prospered.    The    such home off its foundations and
near Winfield that had escaped           population has grown, and         the   broke it in half.32
serious damage in the ‘93 flood. In      assessed valuation of property    has

Page 44
                              Neosho, Missouri
        eosho, Missouri, located in      City Council only to have it rejected     that Neosho City officials were
        Newton County is in              as “desirable but too expensive (in       willing to pledge gathered from State
        extreme southwestern Mis-        1949 the projected cost of the project    Disaster Relief Money and Commu-
souri about 15 miles from the            was $18,000—in 1986 the projected         nity Development Block Grant money,
Oklahoma border. Because Neosho is       cost of essentially the same plan was     gave the city the funds needed to
more than 150 miles south of the         $13.5 million).1                          begin the project.5
Missouri River and nearly 300 miles
from the Mississippi River, flooding              The most expensive part of                When the floods came again
would not seem to be a problem for       the plan was purchasing 52 residential    May 1995, most of the residents in
this community. Yet, Neosho lies at      properties, with a present day average    harm’s way had moved out. This
the bottom of the watershed for          fair market value of $26,388.29 each.2    saved hundreds of thousands of
Hickory Creek, and a branch of           These properties had to be destroyed in   dollars in emergency relief payments.
Hickory Creek, known locally as          order to make way for the waterway.
High School Branch. Being at the         Unfortunately, the price tag had                   The buyout prior to 1995
bottom of this combined watershed        always seemed out of the reach for        saved the taxpayers money in
area has brought flooding to Neosho      Neosho; the community simply did not      emergency relief, but it also rein-
15 times since 1979. As the city grew,   have an adequate tax base. The            forced the wisdom of the Buyout
the problem increased, and by the        solution was obvious, but there was no    program. The citizens of Neosho now
1990s, the periodic floods were          way to fund it.3                          hoped to end the flood threat to their
causing an annual average damage to                                                city, permanently. After the 1995
the city of $855,000 a year. The                  Then came the flood of ‘93,      floods, 26 additional property owners
annual average damage to homes,          and soon after the announcement of        living on the margins of the flood
businesses and public buildings was      Missouri’s State Emergency Man-           plain area also wanted to take
$760,000 and $95,000 was the annual      agement Agency (SEMA) of the              advantage of the Buyout option, but
average damage to roads and bridges.     Flood Buyout Program. Jim Cole,           there was not enough buyout money
                                         City Manager of Neosho, saw an            to purchase their homes. To meet
         Faced with this reoccurring     opportunity since Newton County           this additional need, the citizens of
problem, the City of Neosho, in          had been declared a disaster area.        Neosho passed a 3/8th cents sales
conjunction with the U.S. Depart-        Cole reasoned that Neosho might be        tax on themselves by a 75% margin
ment of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natu-       eligible for money because of its long    to continue the buyout program on
ral Resources Conservation Services      standing problems with periodic           their own.
(NRCS), conducted a series of studies    flooding. He contacted Buck Katt,
between 1949 and 1989 that resulted      Assistant Director of Missouri’s                   The new tax continues to
in a suggested solution known as the     SEMA, to inquire about the possibil-      produce over $600,000 annually.6 It
Neosho Watershed Plan. It involved       ity of Neosho being eligible for help     is money divided into three parts: a
building two dams, 11 retention          with its waterway project. When he        third goes to park development, a
ponds, and a concrete waterway 45        learned that the answer was yes,          third to city recreation programs, and
feet wide and 8 feet deep running        Neosho could qualify, he presented        a third to pay for continued develop-
from south to north through the          the idea to the City Council during its   ment of the Floodplain Waterway
northern part of Neosho called           regular February meeting. After more      Project. With this money serving as a
Wheeler’s Addition. Designers envi-      meetings, the community eventually        base, Neosho adds an additional
sioned the waterways directing the       approved the plan, and 100% of the        $120,000, raised by an already
runoff, which usually became             people living in the path of the          existing transportation tax, to pay off
Neosho’s floodwater, through the city    periodic floods accepted a buyout of      a $1.5 million bond issue financed by
to Hickory Creek north and east of the   their properties. 4 Subsequently,         the local Nation’s Bank that will pay
town. Several times throughout the       SEMA awarded Neosho a $1.4                for the purchases of more properties
years, the various members of the city   million grant. This money, plus a         and complete construction of the
government submitted the plan to the     grant from the NRCS, and $400,000         Flood Plan Waterway.7

                                                                                                                 Page 45
    The Neosho Flood Plain Waterway is an example of how a local community was able to turn
    the tragedy of the 1993 and 1995 floods into a positive and successful community solution.

                Planned recreational facilities
                include a community soccer
                field, baseball diamonds, hik-             Jim Cole’s realization that
                ing and fitness trails, and a           the Flood Buyout Program
                handicapped fishing area.The            could help his town, and his
                fishing area, when complete,            skill at presenting it to his
                will include a level concrete           fellow citizens, so impressed
                slab, with a guard rail that will       Jerry B. Uhlmann, Director of
                allow individuals in wheel-             Missouri’s SEMA, that in
                chairs to safely fish from the          November 1998, he nomi-
                banks of Hickory Creek.8                nated Jim Cole for FEMA’s
                                                        Outstanding Public Sector

Page 46
           hile the concerns of most        however, the river rose again and once    Planning Commission, David War-
           Missourians were fixed on        more flowed through town with a crest     ford, Pattonsburg’s mayor, and State
           the Mississippi and Mis-         16 inches higher than on July 6 and 7.3   Representative Phil Tate.
souri Rivers, Pattonsburg in the north-     Most residents assumed the worst was
western corner of Missouri was              over and had already begun to clean                Ms. Stottlemeyer had the idea
                                                                                      to approach Missouri’s SEMA with
                                                                                      the idea of moving the town away
                                                                                      from the floodplain using money from
                                                                                      the FEMA and HUD’s Community
                                                                                      Development Block Grant program.
                                                                                      The citizens learned that the program
                                                                                      was voluntary, that the planned loca-
                                                                                      tion would need 90% resident approv-
                                                                                      al, and would take two to five years to
                                                                                      complete.5 Furthermore, if the citi-
                                                                                      zens made the decision to relocate the
                                                                                      town, there was federal money
                                                                                      available to build new sewers, streets,
                                                                                      and utilities.

                                                                                               Representative Tate and
                                                                                      Mayor David Warford were positive
                                                                                      about the proposal. Representative
         Old Pattsonburg became the setting for a civil war film,                     Tate told the audience that “a
                         “Ride with the Devil.”                                       relocation would not close the book
                                                                                      on Pattonsburg, but it might open a
threatened by the rising waters of the      up when the second flood hit. This        whole new chapter.”6
Grand River. Originally settled a mile      second flood was the worst in living
and a half north of its position in 1993,   memory. Gene Walker, the local                     A survey of all the town’s
in 1871 the town moved south to the         superintendent of schools lived in a      citizens found that 92% approved of
banks of the Grand River to be close to     house that had not flooded since 1875.    the idea.7 The townspeople drew up a
the railroad.1 Unfortunately, that          He described the floodwaters in the       proposal, submitted it to SEMA, and
prosperity never came, chiefly be-          following way: “The mud sticks to         after approval by FEMA, the first
cause of constant floods that have          everything, the smell sticks to           homeowner received a check on
inundated the town 33 times in the last     everything....It’s not just water, it’s   September 21, 1995.8 Most of the
100 years. Still, it was home to 512        floodwater. It’s slick, slimy and you     people moved into contemporary
people. The town was centered around        have no idea what’s in it.”4              houses or mobile homes, but 14 of the
a three block main street. Its economy                                                houses, whose owners, for a variety of
depended upon soybeans and corn.2                    The history of repeated flood-   reasons, did not want to part with their
That fragile economy was ruined in          ing, and the dreaded job of cleaning up   homes, were moved to the new site.
July 1993, when the Grand River             twice in two weeks, convinced many
overflowed its banks, broke through         people in Pattonsburg that it was time              The average cost for moving
two levees, and flooded the town with       for a change. On November 3, about        a house was $20,000, not including
three feet of water. This first flood       200 Pattonsburg residents met in the      the cost of building a new founda-
lasted only two days, July 6 and 7,         school cafeteria with Denise Stottle-     tion, basement, and hook up of
before the waters receded. On July 23,      meyer of the Green Hills Regional         utilities.9 The new site lay two miles

                                                                                                                     Page 47
closer to Interstate 35, a location that   automobile repair shop. His business is   three insulated domes designed to cut
the townspeople hoped would attract        “about the same as before.”               down on heating and cooling costs, is
new businesses.                                                                      also part of new Pattonsburg. Down
                                                    In the end, acquisition and      in the old site of Pattonsburg there are
          The move was not accom-          relocation cost $ 3,851,920, most of      eight families who choose living
plished without problems and com-          which was spent on acquiring 235          amid about 40 derelict houses
plaints however. The move was              damaged properties.12 Part of that        waiting to be destroyed,15 and some
stressful, chiefly because of the          sum came from an unlikely source,         of the land has been leased to a local
confusion of government paperwork,         proceeds from the sale of houses and      farmer who now grows soybeans and
and there were times, in the words of      their contents. Ten houses were           corn on the floodplain.16 Whatever
the present Mayor Mark Smith, when,        auctioned off to non residents of         happens, the harmful cycle of flood
“. . . this thing could have died ... if   Pattonsburg who then moved the            and rebuilding has ended, and it
people hadn’t been hardheaded and          house away. This money was added          seems a new era in Pattonsburg has
persistent.”10                             to the funds available for buying other   begun.
                                           homes or for moving houses to the
          The move was especially hard     new site of Pattonsburg.13 The new                There is a final chapter in the
on Pattonsburg senior citizens that        Pattonsburg sits on 600 acres with        history of old Pattonsburg. During
made up 75% of the town’s population.      100 new houses plus 24 houses             the summer of 1998, a Hollywood
At a time of their lives when order and    moved from the old location. One          film crew used the abandoned
stability are reassuring, the flood and    hundred vacant lots optimistically        buildings as a movie set in filming
the process of recovery threw their        await new arrivals, and there is room     “Ride With The Devil,” a dramatic
lives into disorder. They also resented    for optimism in Pattonsburg. New          recreation of William Quantrill’s
the fact that they lost money on the       businesses have moved in on the new       infamous raid on Lawrence, Kansas,
move, especially those who were            main street including a convenience       in the midst of the Civil War. The
living in homes that were paid for. Yet,   store, four craft shops, an office        filming offered a chance for Pattons-
all in all, they, along with most of       supply store, a bank, and a bakery.       burg’s citizens to gain something
Pattonsburg’s citizens, later felt that    Nearby is a new filling station.14        from this flood disaster, when many
moving the town was a better idea than                                               were hired as extras in the film or
keeping it where it was — according to              A new elementary school,         temporary workers to perform the
Mayor Smith who now has a new              built in a unique style that includes     many jobs of a movie set.17

Page 48
                                      Perry County
       erry County lies along the          Yet the damage was still consider-       fact that water stood for a month on
       Mississippi River south of          able, and the State Emergency Board      the flood site, so severely damaged
       Ste. Genevieve. It is a rich        for Perry County estimated the loss in   the structures that nearly all were
agricultural area producing corn,          sorghum, wheat, soybeans, and corn       damaged beyond the 50% level.4
soybeans, and wheat. Much of this          at $13 million.2
agricultural wealth consists of an area                                                     Faced with this dilemma,
northeast of Perryville, the county                  The land behind the Bois       Representative Volkmer’s legislation
seat, called The Bottoms. The              Brule Levee was much too rich an         – proposed in October, 1993, and
Bottoms totals 26,000 acres of mostly      agricultural area to abandon, and the    signed into law on December 2nd –
crop land, farm steads, and five small     levee there had protected the farm       proved a godsend. It gave the
unincorporated settlements; Menfro,        land – with this single exception –      residents of The Bottoms a way out.
Clayville, Belgigue, McBride, and          since it was built in 1947. Almost       On January 25, 1994, Presiding
Sereno. The huge 50-foot high Bois         immediately Perry County received        County Commissioner Karl Klaus,
Brule Levee, protects The Bottoms          assurances that the levee would be       and Kathy Mangels of the Southeast
area from periodic flooding of the         rebuilt, and by October 26, the county   Missouri Regional Planning Com-
Mississippi River. This massive levee      had the specific promise of $7 million   mission, went to Jefferson City to
had successfully held back the river       in federal money for rebuilding.3 Yet    submit a request for $1,644,065
for years, but the flood of ‘93 was        while this assured the land would be     which would buy out 54 homes and
larger than any previous flood, and on     saved for farming, the sudden and        businesses in The Bottoms. Klaus and
the night of July 25, 1993, the            unexpected rupture of the levee          Mangels submitted this request to the
southern end of the Bois Brule Levee       convinced most residents that The        Review and Hazard Mitigation Com-
broke.                                     Bottoms was too dangerous an area in     mittee that Governor Carnahan had
                                           which to live. Fortunately, a week       appointed to oversee the program.5
          Witnesses reported that the      before the levee break, 54 families,     The proposal included requests for
initial break was 300 to 400 feet wide,    living closest to the levee itself,      money to buy 39 flood damaged
but the water rushed in like a “tidal      evacuated their homes for higher         residences, 14 agricultural tracts, and
wave” according to one witness. The        ground, but everyone realized that       four businesses.6
water came so suddenly that Harold         next time the loss of life was a
Smith, an employee of the U.S. Army        possibility.                                     The request was initially
Corps of Engineers was swept off the                                                denied because the buyout program
top of the levee in his truck and                   Yet, residents of The Bot-      was specifically designed to buy
washed a mile downstream.1 Smith           toms were faced with a dilemma.          residences. However, when the South-
was able to escape the onslaught, but      They had nowhere else to live, and       east Missouri Regional Planning
the breech in the levee soon widened       most lacked the resources to move        Commission resubmitted the pro-
to 1,200 feet, and within a few hours,     away. However, local ordinances          posal, omitting the businesses, the
90 homes and businesses were               passed in 1986, made it financially      Review and Hazard Mitigation Com-
flooded and settlements like McBride       difficult to move back. Perry County,    mittee approved it, and on February
were covered with 10 feet of water.        like many other counties in Missouri,    14, 1994, Governor Carnahan ap-
                                           had passed an ordinance mandating        proved $578,303 to buy 40 homes in
         Workers rushed onto the           that no repairs to a flood damaged       The Bottoms.7 A month later, on
central and northern part of the levee     home could be made if the cost of        March 9, Perry County received an
to strengthen it with rock, fearing that   repairs was higher than 50% of the       additional $296,352 in the form of a
if more of the structure collapsed,        assessed fair market value of the        community development block grant.8
water might reach all the way to           home. The excessive force of the         Yet, the county could not begin the
Perryville. They were successful in        water breaking through the levee on      buyout program until the Missouri
saving what remained of the levee.         the night of July 25, followed by the    Department of Economic Develop-

                                                                                                                  Page 49
ment approved a community devel-       that homeowners could back out of        May, 1995, the Mississippi River
opment block grant of $144,000         the program right up to the actual       once more reached flood stage in
which would allow the county to meet   receipt of a check.9                     Perry County, but this time the Bois
the local matching funds requirement                                            Brule Levee, which the Corps of
for the federal buyout program. When            Because some residents          Engineers had rebuilt in 1994, held
that approval came and the money       chose to back out at the last minute,    back the water. None of the sites that
became available in early December,    the county did not have to spend all     had flooded in 1993 flooded again.11
Perry County officials closed on the   the money that the government had        Still, nothing is more certain in
first property buyout on January 10,   given it, and in 1996, the SEMA was      Missouri than the eventuality of
1995.                                  able to “de-obligate” $40,000 from       future flooding, and the cost of the
                                       the program and reallocate it to other   buyout program of 1993 will un-
        Although the county origi-     buyout projects.10                       doubtedly prevent major outlays of
nally planned to buy 40 residences,                                             flood relief money to disaster victims
eight homeowners backed out of the               The county completed demo-     in the future. SEMA estimates that the
buyout because they felt the buyout    lition of 32 homes by August 6, 1996,    cost-benefit ratio for Perry County is
price was too low. This “change of     and in most cases leased the land        2.14, meaning that within the next 15
heart” was entirely in keeping with    back to the original owners as           years Missouri will save $2.14 for
the basic philosophy of the buyout     agricultural land since most home        every dollar spent in the 1993 buyout
program that mandated the program      sites were contiguous with farm land     program.12
be voluntary and flexible enough so    that the homeowners still owned. In

Page 50
A view of the former Rhineland village site after              Rhineland now sits on a hill overlooking the
the buyout.                                                    Missouri River.

         hineland, Missouri, a small      settled Rhineland in 1853. Their new       crisis with cooperative effort and grim
         town on the Missouri             home in Missouri reminded them of          cheerfulness. Cindy Engemann, whose
         River in Montgomery Coun-        their homeland along the Rhine River       husband Gary owned the Rhineland
ty, was a relocation site that captured   in western Germany.                        Grain Elevator, told a reporter that she
world wide attention. ABC, NBC,                                                      referred to the flood waters as
and CBS, as well as television                     Since its foundation in 1853,     Alternate 94, and that instead of going
stations from Japan and France, sent      Rhineland had experienced flooding,        “over the hill and through the woods,”
camera crews to record the dramatic       especially in 1951 and 1986, but           it was “over the hill and through the
event of the whole town being pulled      never to the degree of the ‘93 flood.3     pasture.” One picture that got nation-
by tractors, house by house, to a new     In 1993, along the Missouri River          wide exposure showed three Rhine-
location on top of a hill above the       between Rhineland and Hermann              landers in a boat rescuing a two-week
floodplain.1                              between January and June, a total of       old fawn from atop the broken
                                          27.11 inches of rain fell. That            Rhineland Levee.7
          Rhineland residents were the    compared with only 13.08 inches in
first flood victims in Missouri or        that same area for 1992.4 People in                 However, the intensity of the
Illinois to make the decision to move     Rhineland kept less formal, but            flood this time convinced some people
their entire town and its dozens of       equally revealing records. In 1986,        it was time for a permanent change. In
historically significant buildings out    five feet of water stood in the People’s   the midst of their crisis, the people of
of the floodplain to a place of           Savings Bank of Rhineland. In 1993,        Rhineland heard rumors about a new
permanent safety. Once Rhineland          however, the flood waters in the same      program. On October 24, Harold
initiated the idea, Pattonsburg in        bank rose as high as the top of a six      Volkmer, the area’s Congressional
northeast Missouri and Valmeyer,          foot coat rack.5 By Wednesday, July        Representative, held a meeting in
Illinois, also decided to abandon their   7, the town was underwater with 80%        Hermann and revealed details of a new
flood prone sites and move to higher      of the houses and business flooded.6       bill he was soon to introduce in the
ground.2 Historically Rhineland was       Between that date and the end of           House of Representatives. As Volk-
part of a group of towns near the         September, Rhineland would experi-         mer explained, his bill would change
Missouri River including Hermann,         ence four record crests and was totally    current legislation regarding federal
Dutzow, Augusta, Holstein, and            cut off from dry land except for one       relocation and buyout programs ad-
Marthasville that German immigrants       emergency route that cut through a         ministered through FEMA, by increas-
chose to settle in the mid-nineteenth     field.                                     ing the amount of money available for
century. Topographically it reminded                                                 such programs. The plan seemed
them of their homeland. That was                   As they had in previous           promising, and the magnitude of the
certainly true of the Germans who         floods, the Rhinelanders greeted this      crisis seemed to indicate, according to

                                                                                                                    Page 51
Volkmer, that Congress wanted to do       new infrastructure. The citizens antic-   received a community development
something significant to help victims.    ipated that Volkmer’s bill would pass,    block grant of $357,000 to build a new
He promised to put the bill on the fast   and the money it generated could be       sewage treatment plant. Since none of
track.8 He was as good as his word.       used for a government buyout of their     that money had been spent, it would be
The Bill moved quickly through the        old homes.                                an easy matter to use it to build a
House Water Resources and Environ-                                                  sewage treatment plant compatible
ment Subcommittee on October 27,                  At the Firehouse meeting,         with the new town site.10
and was passed 19 days later as the       State Representative Charles Nor-
Flood Damage Reduction Bill (HB           wald of Warrenton, whose district               In one week the idea of a
3445). From there it went to the Senate   included Rhineland, spoke in favor of  relocation had the support of a
that passed the bill                                                                                majority of Rhine-
a week later, and                                                                                   land’s citizens.
on December 2,                                                                                      Mayor Elsenraat
President Clinton                                                                                   was quoted in the
signed it into law.9                                                                                November 16 is-
                                                                                                    sue of the Her-
         However,                                                                                   mann Advertiser-
the Rhinelanders                                                                                    Courier “that 40
had not waited                                                                                      out of 50 home-
passively as the                                                                                    owners had indi-
bill progressed                                                                                     cated that they
rapidly through                                                                                     were ready to re-
Congress. Mayor                                                                                     locate on high
Ervin Elsenraat                                                                                     ground either by
and the Rhineland                                                                                   building a new
City Council had                                                                                    house or moving
utilized the re-                                                                                    an existing one
sources of the                                                                                      on...      higher
Boonslick Re- Houses being moved from old Rhineland to the town’s new location. ground.” Less
gional Planning                                                                                     than a month lat-
Commission, and                                                                                     er, on December
its Director Steve Etcher, to apply for a the plan and felt it would be the kind 9, Governor Carnahan announced that
community development block grant of innovative solution that other Rhineland would get a block grant of
from Missouri’s Department of Eco- towns would emulate. He also $999,500, to implement part of the
nomic Development. On November 4, realistically reminded people that the move. Concurrent with this announce-
during a 2 ½ hour meeting in the move would not be cheap. It would ment, Mayor Elsenraat reported that
Rhineland Firehouse, Rhineland’s cost the residents money. “It might five more homeowners had agreed to
citizens discussed the proposed move, cost them $10,000 to move up the the move.11
based on the block grant application as hill,” but if they didn’t take advantage
well as the anticipated money from of the idea, “the next flood will cost                 On January 10, 1994, Eisen-
Volkmer’s proposed bill.                   them $10,000.”                        raat announced details of the move.
                                                                                 The town would hold a lottery to
         The Rhinelanders decided to              The town’s mayor, Ervin decide the awarding of lots in the new
relocate the town by moving to a new Elsenraat, felt the program would keep city site. Three types of residential
40 acre site on top of a hill less than a Rhineland economically viable, keep areas would delineate the new site:
quarter of a mile north of the site of Old the community intact, and would be a relocated homes, new constructions,
Rhineland. Citizens would swap their “good investment of federal dollars” and modular or mobile homes.
home site at the bottom of the hill for a because afterwards there would be no Residents would then draw lots that
new one at the top. They could choose more money spent for flood insurance determined the order of selection for
to move their old house or to build a or damage repair. He also reminded themselves within the type of lot they
new one on a new site. The block grant residents of a bit of good luck. Just had occupied in the old town.
would buy the new site and prepare the before the flood, Rhineland had Meanwhile the property owners would

Page 52
deed their old lots to the city, that     the first house moved slowly up           the area. The 1995 water stayed above
would in turn oversee that land turned    Holzum Street towards the top of the      flood level for 88 days.16
into open spaces for parks, recreation,   hill. This street had been widened to
wetlands, or agriculture.12               50 feet to accommodate the moving                 Once the residences were
                                          houses. Steve and Janet Wehrle’s          moved, it was time to relocate the
         Then on May 24, Governor         house was the first.                      commercial properties. Instead of
Carnahan had more good news for                                                     moving existing buildings, however,
Rhineland: FEMA had approved                        The move had the trappings      the town’s businesses moved into
home relocation money for the             of a parade. In front of the tractor      new commercial buildings north of
project. With the $328,281 from           trailer truck two kids carried a banner   highway 94, at the bottom of the hill
FEMA, homeowners in Rhineland             that read “Up Up and Away.” Across        adjacent to the residential area.
could relocate their ruined homes and     the front of the house was another
look forward to the move up the hill.     banner reading, “Expert House Mov-                In addition, the two highways
The FEMA grant was part of a              ers Inc. 1-800-305-8938,” just in case    leading into the new site were also
package that went into the total          anyone watching on TV needed              raised above the 1993 flood level to
project. There was $1.3 million from      another house moved. Right behind         insure that floodwater would never
the Community Development Block           the first house came another that Janet   again cut off Rhineland.17
Grant program for infrastructure at       Wehrle’s parents owned. Within a
the new site and relocation, $343,000     week, five houses had made the trip.               By July, 1996, the last
from the Missouri Housing Develop-                                                  building had been moved, the sewers,
ment Commission for down pay-                     Once the houses reached the       electricity, water, and other infra-
ments on new homes and repairs to         top of the hill, they sat at their new    structure items were in place, and
old ones, and $585,000 from the           sites supported on 25 foot pillars        Rhineland celebrated in a day long
state’s Economic Development Ad-          while the house movers poured a           event called “Rhineland Celebration
ministration to build roads in and        foundation underneath them. Only          ‘96.” There was a barbecue, music,
outside Rhineland.                        when that foundation was dried were       and a parade with floats. The winning
                                          the houses lowered into place.14          float was “Noah’s Ark,” an appropri-
         Finally, the town voted a                                                  ate and clever reference to another
$150,000 bond issue to help with                  In case anyone doubted the        triumph over a flood.19
infrastructure improvements. On the       wisdom of the move, the site of old
purely commercial side, another           Rhineland flooded again in May                     Today, the only remaining
block grant directed $1,325,000           1995. This time the water was almost      structures in Old Rhineland are a
toward buyout of commercial proper-       as high as in the ‘93 flood, but, of      warehouse that was once the general
ty, and the Small Business Adminis-       course, everyone had moved and the        store, and one inhabited dwelling that
tration provided loans to town            flood caused no harm to anyone.15         was raised above the flood level of the
businesses to rebuild.13                  The rising waters caused Hermann          1986 flood. There are plans to
                                          five miles east of Rhineland to cancel    develop part of the area as a trail head
       For the next 15 months, the        its 42nd annual Maifest, an event that    for the KATY Trail bike path that
town moved. On September 14, 1994,        usually drew thousands of visitors to     runs through the town.18

                                                                                                                   Page 53
                             St. Charles County
        t. Charles County is a county at    only a 1 in a 100 chance of happening     Des Sioux cutting the townspeople off
        risk anytime there is a flood       in any one year in the area. As Gary      from their jobs and schools, and the
        along the Missouri and Missis-      Dyhouse, a hydrologist with the U. S.     residents were completely dependent
sippi Rivers in Missouri. The county        Army Corps of Engineers, explains it:     on the makeshift rafts of the 1438th
lies at the confluence of the Missouri      “When the year ends, the slate is         Engineer Company for communica-
River and the Mississippi River, and        erased. We start all over again, at a 1   tion with “the mainland.”6
when these rivers rise, the eastern         percent chance.”2
portion of St. Charles County can be                                                        Then, on July 16, bad things
cut off entirely from the rest of the                The 1 in a 100 chance came in got worse. St. Charles County’s major
state. One of the county’s towns,           1993, and from late April to early levee, a 23 mile-long berm running
Portage Des Sioux, largely escapes          August there was a steady accelera- between St. Charles and West Alton
periodic flooding. But the flood            tion of one disaster after another. By along the north shore of the Missouri
waters have made most of the town an        April 28, rains had saturated the soil River, tore open, and most of the
island so often that its residents refer    along the Missouri and Mississippi county’s floodplain was underwater.7
to the rest of the state as “the            Rivers so that the levels of both rivers On August 1, a levee running along
mainland.”                                  rose so high that Governor Carnahan Highway 94 failed and 400 previous-
                                            declared a state of emergency in St. ly-dry homes in the city of St. Charles
        During times of flooding, the       Charles County. Then, on July 3, the were flooded. St. Charles County
only means of travel in and out of          Missouri River rose past flood stage became the most flood damaged
Portage Des Sioux is courtesy of the        at St. Charles, and 100 people in county in Missouri with a total of
Missouri National Guard’s 1438th            northern St. Charles County fled their 2,109 houses condemned throughout
Engineer Company that brings a 90           homes.                                   the whole county.8
foot section of a portable military
bridge to town to use as a giant raft to             Later that same day, a levee              To add to the county-wide
ferry people to their jobs in the rest of   near the Mississippi River town of        catastrophe, three tornadoes struck St.
St. Charles and St. Louis counties.1        Winfield, Missouri, just north of St.     Charles County. One came down in
                                            Charles County, broke and 100             the rural area of the county, but the
         Usually, however, an exten-        families had to evacuate their homes      other two hit St. Peters, and Portage
sive system of levees protects the          and find temporary shelter.3 Four         Des Sioux, two county towns already
towns of the county from most of the        days later, the levee protecting West     heavily damaged by floodwaters.
smaller flooding events. A serious and      Alton, situated on a narrow peninsula     While the tornadoes did little direct
disruptive major flood had occurred in      between the two mighty rivers, broke      damage, they generated winds that
1986 and caused extensive damage            and forced county officials to order an   whipped up the floodwaters and
with the highest water on record along      evacuation of the eastern part of the     further damaged homes that water had
the Missouri River. People may have         county.4 Rising flood waters began to     already damaged.9
felt they had nothing to fear for a         lap against hastily constructed sand-
century, and so the population of the       bag barriers, around water pumping            While St. Charles County had
floodplain in St. Charles County began      stations, and electrical substations,the dubious distinction of being
to grow after World War II as people        and on July 9, 7,000 St. Charles     “first” in having sustained the most
moved into inexpensive housing or           County residents found themselves    flood damage, it nevertheless has the
mobile homes scattered over the “100        without electricity.                 more favorable distinction as the area
year floodplain.”                                                                that was first in Missouri to seek ways
                                                     Some of those without elec- to repair that damage. On November
        Unfortunately people misin-         tricity were among the 7,000 resi- 23, in the St. Charles County Courts
terpreted the phrase, not realizing that    dents forced to evacuate later that Administration Building, the county
the phrase is a statistical estimate        day.5 On July 10, flood waters called a meeting of residents to
signifying that a really large flood has    covered Route H leading into Portage consider a buyout option.

Page 54
         The members of the St.         solution was growing. The article by    Governor Carnahan announced that he
Charles City Council, which was the     Robert L. Koenig, the Post Dispatch     intended to use part of his time while
administrative head of the city, knew   correspondent in Washington D.C.,       attending the National Governors
that the damage was extreme and         announced Representative Volkmer’s      Association Conference in Washington
realized that the amount of money       intention to present a buyout plan to   to lobby for a large share of the new
necessary for repair, relief, and       Congress that would make a great        buyout money for Missouri. During his
prevention would be great. They         deal of money available to floodplain   visit, he lobbied Congress and Admin-
decided from the onset to hire the      homeowners. This money, the article     istration officials for a total
Community Program Development           explained, eased restrictions on pre-   of $340 million, that included $35
Corporation, an outside consulting      vious buyout programs. It increased     million to move 960 single family
firm, to help them make application     the federal share of buyout money       residences out of areas that might
for government money and to present     from 50% to 75%, and allowed cities     flood in coming years, $40 million
programs to the                                                                                      in a special grant
citizens.                                                                                            from the Com-
                                                                                                     munity Develop-
         The most                                                                                    ment Block Grant
immediate con-                                                                                       Program, and $30
cern of the Com-                                                                                     million for the Fed-
munity Develop-                                                                                      eral Hazard Miti-
ment Corporation                                                                                     gation Program.11
was to test citizen
reaction to buy-                                                                                         The Fed-
ing out the flood                                                                               eral Government
ravaged mobile                                                                                  did not award all
homes on a 58                                                                                   of the money re-
acre tract on North                                                                             quested by Gov-
River Road, Short                                                                               ernor Carnahan,
Street,Transit                                                                                  but by May, the
Street, and North                                                                               state had received
Main        Street.                                                                             $156 million and
The revenue was Volunteers performing sandbagging operations in St. Charles County. subsequently al-
to come from                                                                                    located $13.2 mil-
$3,525,000 in Community Develop- and counties applying for the money lion for property buyouts in St.
ment Block Grant Program money to use community development block Charles County. Other money of that
that the city had received following a grant money to pay their 25% share of $156 million total was designated to
much less damaging flood the the money.                                      pay for demolition of ruined homes,
summer before. At that time few                                              provide for replacement housing,
residents seemed interested in a               Koening reported that there purchase junk-yard sites that were
buyout program. The catastrophe of was bipartisan support for the bill. polluting ground water, and repair
the summer of ‘93, however, might Republican senators Tom Harkin of flood damaged roads and sewers.
have changed residents minds to take Iowa and John C. Danforth of Some of the money came from the
a second look at this option. The Missouri would help assure that the Earthquake Relief Bill signed on
reaction of the people attending the bill would not get “bogged down in February 12. Although that bill
program was positive, and Communi- Congress.”                                mainly supplied money to earthquake
ty Planning Development began the                                            victims in California, Congress had
process of application.10                      St. Charles County did not tacked on an amendment giving more
                                       waste time, and by November 30, money to flood victims in the
         Only a few days later, on Development Strategies, in association Midwest.13
November 28, an article in the News with Jerry King, had submitted an
Section of the St. Louis Post application for $19 million in federal                 The actual buying of flood
Dispatch, gave the residents of St. money to the county council for damaged homes began on June 1,
Charles County some additional good approval. That approval came on 1994, when two St. Charles County
news. The momentum for a buyout December 2, and on January 12, families, Ted and Linda House and

                                                                                                               Page 55
Roger and Jeanne Vaughn, received          Missouri, mobile homes are classi-        down payment on a new house only
buyout checks. Neither the Houses          fied as personal property just as         two blocks away. Initially, she had
nor the Vaughns would tell Ralph           automobiles are. Because they are not     resisted the buyout program. Like
Dummit, the reporter for the St. Louis     real estate they are ineligible for a     many people, she was suspicious of
Post Dispatch, the amount of their         buyout with buyout money. The pad         the government’s motives. She had
checks; but official records show that     on which the mobile home sits,            worried that the buyout program was
the average amount paid for homes in       however, is eligible for buyout           part of a government plan to buy land
their subdivision was $16,100.14           money, but many mobile home               cheap and build parking lots for the
                                           owners rented the pad, making them        gambling boats that were a major
         In time, St. Charles County       ineligible to receive buyout money        tourist draw for St. Charles. However,
would oversee the acquisition of 1,160     for their home. Jerry King admitted       once St. Charles City Mayor, Grace
parcels of land (not all had homes on      that mobile home owners who rented        Nichols, assured her that buyout land
them), including 650 mobile home           a pad were, “a big group [who] had        could not be used for that kind of
pads. In an interview with the St.         slipped through the cracks.”17            development, she was willing to sell.
Charles Post, reporter King said the
buyout program was a “giant step                    A solution was possible for              By the time Rosa Sims’
forward” towards reducing the popula-      these people, however. Many mobile        house had been bulldozed into rubble
tion on the floodplain, which was a goal   home owners had insured their             on August 16, 12 more houses were
of the federal government program.         trailers as personal property in the      scheduled for destruction and 50
Fewer people living on the floodplain      same way that people insure a car. In     other homeowners were waiting to
would mean fewer people who would          addition, the Federal Emergency           find what kind of offer the govern-
draw on the Federal Government’s           Management Agency, through a              ment would make on their homes.
resources in future floods.                separate program, could pay a flood       Most of these homes were north of the
                                           victim up to $11,000 for damage to        Highway 370 bridge on the east side
         In the same interview, King       personal property.18 This program         of North Main Street, an area next to
admitted there were problems. The          finally paid mobile home owners a         the Ed Bales Memorial Park. The plan
buyout program reduced the number          total of $769,000.19                      was for these sites to become an
of inexpensive housing units in St.                                                  extension of that park.20
Charles County, thus creating a                     For mobile home owners,
financial burden for previous resi-        this was only a partial solution to the            While derelict homes were
dents. However, the county was             problems the flood of ‘93 had caused.     waiting their turn for the wreckers,
trying to help by using part of a          Like most victims, they realized that     local arsonists turned to torching
community block fund grant to build        for the next few years they were going    several of them. By mid-September,
100 single family homes out of the         to be more financially burdened than      11 homes had been destroyed, and the
floodplain in an area called Boscher       they had been before the disaster. Yet    St. Charles Fire Department decided
Town and by applying for grants to         most floodplain residents who took        to burn down the remainder to prevent
help build a new mobile home park          advantage of the various offers the       the possibility of future deliberate
out of the floodplain.15                   government made had to measure the        fires spreading to nearby homes that
                                           stress and anxiety of continuing to       were still inhabited. Firefighters
         Still other flood victims were    live in a floodplain area and dealing     began deliberately burning aban-
having trouble affording homes             repeatedly with future devastating        doned houses on September 21, and
outside the floodplain where houses        floods against the one-time financial     by the end of the month, they had
cost an average of $30,000 to $65,000      stress and anxiety of moving out of       destroyed 31 homes that were close
more than houses had cost in the           the threatened area with the help of      enough to inhabited homes to be a
floodplain. Again the government           the government.                           potential risk.21
tried to help with relocation money,
paid in addition to the cost of a                   By mid August 1994, St.                 While these permanent hous-
victim’s home.16                           Charles City had begun to demolish        es were either torn down or burned
                                           buyout houses. The first home to go       down, wreckers began destroying 120
       An additional problem re-           belonged to Rosa Sims who had lived       mobile homes that the county had
mained for some flood victims who          there for 37 years. Ms. Sims had used     purchased at the Princess Jodi and St.
had lived in mobile homes. In              the $21,000 in buyout money to put a      Charles Mobile Home Parks along

Page 56
Highway 94 north of the McDonnell         cleared lots to neighboring home-        that 95% of the 1,374 properties
Douglas Plant. Before the flood, 200      owners. The buyout had not been          acquired in the 1993 buyout program
mobile homes had stood on 64 acres        100%. Some owners had determined         would have flooded again in 1995.
of land. Approximately 80 trailers        to stay in spite of the threat of        The differences in the dollar amounts
had either been moved before              flooding. Such people could lease        spent to help flood victims in St.
floodwaters destroyed the homes, or       adjacent cleared home sites for one      Charles County in 1993 versus 1995
if they had suffered marginal damage,     dollar a year on condition that they     are the most dramatic evidence of the
had been sold to re-builders in           promise to keep the lot in grass, or     buyout programs success. In 1993,
Arkansas. However, 120 ruined             plant gardens. The lots ranged from      Missouri and the Federal Govern-
trailers remained, and once St.           7,000 square feet to three acres.        ment spent $14,177,717 to help
Charles County bought the trailer                                                  individual flood victims find disaster
parks from their owners for $1.365                 St. Charles County experi-      housing and live during the flood
million, these had to be cleared out.     enced other benefits from the buyout     crisis. In 1995, however, that total for
                                          program—a drastic reduction in the       the same services in the same area
         Wreckers carefully removed       damage suffered because of flooding      was only $216,194.26
environmentally dangerous materials       that occurred after 1993. In May,
like asbestos floor tile, stripped each   1995, the county faced another flood             The total cost to the taxpayers
mobile home of recyclable metal and       nearly as destructive as that of 1993.   for buying out individual residences
fixtures, and dug up, and then buried     Floodwaters covered much the same        in the St. Charles County floodplain
the concrete from the pads and the        area as two years before, but there      was $14,617,424. The fact that the
asphalt from the streets in each park.    was little left to damage in the         cost of helping floodplain victims in
By the end of November both parks         floodplain because over 900 families     the 1993 flood alone was $439,707
were gone, and the land was waiting       had taken buyout money in 1993 and       less than that amount is dramatic
for grass seed in the spring.22           lived elsewhere in 1995.25               proof that in future floods the buyout
                                                                                   program will pay for itself many
       In November, St. Charles                  Steve Lauer, St. Charles          times over.
County offered to lease the newly         County Planning Director, estimated

                                     Community spirit was highly evident at many
                                     sandbagging operations. Volunteers came
                                     from all over Missouri and other states to help
                                     those who were threatened by flooding.

                                                                                                                  Page 57
                                 Ste. Genevieve

                                              ince its founding, sometime                  Nevertheless, the citizens were
                                              between 1732 and 1735, Ste.         determined to fight back. Their
                                              Genevieve has suffered from         pugnacious attitude impressed Gover-
                                       chronic flooding. In 1785, flood           nor Carnahan when he visited to assess
                                       waters washed the town completely          the damage. He liked the town’s
                                       away, and its people decided to            spunk. “It’s the attitude that you’re
                                       reestablish the town on higher ground      going to fight back with.”7 The people
                                       three miles up the river on ground they    of Ste. Genevieve and their Mayor Bill
                                       thought would never flood, but they        Anderson, repeatedly drew a parallel
                                       were wrong. Ste. Genevieve continued       between the town’s plight and a war. A
                                       to flood often over the next two           reporter from the Warrensburg Daily
                                       centuries. Most recently in 1951, 1968,    Star Journal wrote:
                                       and 1973.1 Each flood was hard on the
                                       town’s inhabitants, but it has made
                                       them resilient. An article in the
                                       Christian Science Monitor described           The people sit behind bunkers
                                       Ste. Genevieve’s citizens as having “a        of sandbags and watch the front
                                       kind of tough radiance. . . from farmers      line, as if they are anticipating
                                       to the mayor.”2                               a battle. . . There’s a wall sized
                                                                                     aerial photo in a conference
                                                 In 1993, when the Mississippi       room at the Marina, where the
                                       rose above flood stage (38 feet) on July      battle plans are being drawn.
                                       8, 1993, and kept on rising over the          We’ve got a war going on
                                       next five weeks, most of the 4,400            here. . . we’re fighting the
Ste. Genevieve marker shows            people of the town simply set to work         Mighty Mississippi.8
flood stages from 1844.                to try to save their town as they had so
                                       often done in the past.3 Over the next
                                       three days, the river rose four feet
                                       quickly covering the airport runways,               The flood made Ste. Gene-
                                       the water works, the city power plant,     vieve famous. Once the national and
                                       and the sewage treatment plant.4           international newspapers publicized
                                                                                  the problem, volunteers from all over
                                                Surprisingly, despite its long    the country came to help. Most
                                       tradition of flooding, Ste. Genevieve      volunteers were from Missouri, of
                                       had never built adequate protective        course, but people came from all over
                                       levees. The U.S. Army Corps of             the nation and the world. “People from
                                       Engineers had offered to build a rock      Ohio met people from Denver,
                                       and earth levee along the front of the     bagging sand in Missouri,” was one
                                       town back in 1986, for $48 million, if     reporter’s way of putting it with a
Extensive flooding in St. Genevieve.   Ste. Genevieve could raise $11 million     sentence that captured the spirit of the
                                       in matching funds.5 The town of 4,400      whole event.9
                                       could not. For years, therefore, Ste.
                                       Genevieve had to depend on six miles               Besides the lack of an
                                       of county levees built with state aid      adequate levee system, the terrain and
                                       over the years.6                           layout of the town made defense from

Page 58
floodwaters difficult. Most of the
town’s historic part—and this was the
economic heart of Ste. Genevieve—
was in an area near the river that was
prone to flooding. In addition two
small streams called North Gabouri
Creek and South Gabouri Creek,
flowed into the Mississippi on either
side of this historic district. To
compound the problem, water from
the Mississippi backed up into these
smaller streams which caused them to
overflow into downtown and into the
suburbs to both the north and the south.
To protect Ste. Genevieve, it was
necessary to build sandbag levees on
either side of these creeks. From the
air, the levee system resembled three
“Us” lying on their sides with the             The Missouri Army National Guard reinforced parts of the levee
                                               at Ste. Genevieve with 400,000 tons of rock and mine tailings.
curved ends toward the Mississippi.
Another levee, called Farmer’s Levee,               Many citizens realized the                Yet, after the board of
protected 7,000 acres of rich bottom       town’s escape had been a near thing,       aldermen had prepared the request, but
land south of the town.10                  and many echoed Mayor Bill Ander-          before they had submitted it, the city
                                           son’s comment, “We want to get rid         council hit a snag. The problem
         The fight to save Ste. Gene-      of the houses there [on the flood-         revolved around 46 houses, well
vieve involved raising these makeshift     plain]. . . Then we won’t have to          known for their historic value, that
levees along the Gabouri Creek banks       worry about it.”                           were included in the total of 127
to accommodate a river level of 50                                                    houses. Alderman Frank Myers was
feet; this necessitated filling and                The Mayor’s comments re-           concerned that if the board submitted
placing over a million sandbags. As a      flected knowledge of Representative        the proposal, Ste. Genevieve received
spur to action, National Guard troops      Volkmer’s proposed buyout legisla-         the money, and the 46 historic homes
painted green lines on trees as a visual   tion. Mayor Anderson felt that at least    were torn down, it would jeopardize
goal for sandbaggers to work to-           150 people might be interested in the      the town’s chances of getting a federal
ward.11 However, along the banks of        buyout.14                                  levee. Myers reasoned that the U. S.
the Mississippi levees had to be more                                                 government’s willingness to help Ste.
substantial, and volunteers along with              Even before President Clinton     Genevieve build a permanent levee,
members of the 1140th Engineer             signed Volkmer’s bill into law, the Ste.   was partially based on the historic
Company of the Missouri Army               Genevieve board of aldermen, assured       value of many Ste. Genevieve houses.
National Guard reinforced parts of the     by Speaker of the House Richard
levee with 400,000 tons of rock and        Gephardt that the proposal would pass,              The board spent an entire
mine tailings that bulldozers and          made themselves familiar with its          session debating the topic. Mayor
heavy trucks moved.12                      provisions and drafted an initial          Anderson proposed a compromise
                                           application for $2 million in buyout       that included the board’s submitting
          By August 6, this strenuous      money from the state’s community           the grant application to buy only non-
effort had paid off. The Mississippi       development block grant program and        historic homes, but with an addendum
crest, at 49.67 feet, came within inches   the hazard mitigation grant program.       declaring “the intention of the
of the tops of the 50 foot levees.         This proposal targeted 127 parcels in      application to include those historic
Nevertheless, they held, and on            the north end of Ste. Genevieve that       properties after those houses had
August 7, the water level was going        had been particularly hard hit by flood    undergone review by the Missouri
down.13 The crisis was past—for the        waters.                                    Department of Natural Resources.”
time being.                                                                           Nevertheless, the board delayed
                                                                                      sending the application.15

                                                                                                                    Page 59
          At their next meeting the       sions of the National Historic Preser-      programs. The three town officials
aldermen, with Volkmer’s bill safely      vation Act of 1966, before the Federal      could do little but sympathize,
passed, the board authorized submit-      Emergency Management Agency                 although Anderson offered some
ting another proposal so that Ste.        could authorize funds to demolish a         hope that the first buyout might take
Genevieve could get additional mon-       house, it had to “take into account the     place in late July.23
ey under the new law. This proposal       effects of their undertakings on
asked for $1.4 million to cover 75% of    properties included in . . . the National            Unfortunately, Anderson was
the proposed buyout of 89 non-            Register of Historic Places.” Since         wrong. By the end of July all that had
historic homes on the floodplain in       October, 1970, nearly every building        been accomplished was the Board of
the northern part of Ste. Genevieve.      in Ste. Genevieve was within the            Aldermen’s award to Southeast Mis-
Again several aldermen expressed          boundaries of the Ste. Genevieve            souri Regional Planning Commission
concern that the proposed addendum        Historic District, and therefore subject    (SEMO) of a contract to administer the
in the earlier proposal for flood         to a historic survey before any of them     buyout and the adoption of a formal
buyout money might slow down              could be torn down.20                       process concerning the procedures the
acceptance of this second proposal,                                                   buyout would follow. These proce-
but Mayor Anderson assured them                    Once such surveys were             dures offered some financial help to
that he had received assurances from      finished, the law required that a           home owners who wanted to move
Claire Blackwell, the Department of       concerted effort be made to either          their historic homes out of the
Natural Resource’s director of the        move the house or, failing that, make a     floodplain. They also offered proce-
Historic Sites Division, that the         formal photographic record of the           dures under which the city might buy
application could still be “fast          house, catalog its contents and dispose     historic property, and/or handle the
tracked.”16 With this assurance, the      of them by sale or gift to museums or       salvage and sale of architectural
aldermen voted to send the buyout         other suitable institutions.21              elements saved from historic houses.24
applications, and Mayor Anderson
took the SEMA application to                       Such surveys were the job of                By August, 1994, there was
Jefferson City on December 20.17 A        personnel of the Missouri Department        still no progress. Cathy Mangles,
short while later, the Aldermen sent      of Conservation, and the buyout             SEMO’s coordinator for the program,
the request for CDBG money along to       process ground to a halt, while they        called a meeting where disgruntled
Jefferson City.18                         made their study. City Administrator        property owners could meet with
                                          David Angerer knew that SEMA was            officials from SEMA, FEMA, the
        The answer was not long in        eager to get on with the buyout, but        National Trust for Historic Preserva-
coming, but it was not all that Ste.      could not because of the Historic           tion, and the Missouri Housing
Genevieve had hoped for. Instead of       Preservation Act. The delay, he said,       Development to discuss the status of
the nearly $4 million that the city had   “is a victim of dueling federal             the buyout. Mangles assured the
requested from SEMA and communi-          programs: SEMA which is built for           homeowners that the formal historical
ty development block grant funds, it      speed and quick relief of people in         analysis of homes would start soon,
got only $1,337,000 for the purchase      trouble, and the Historic Preservation      and it would require only two to three
of 57 flood damaged residences and        Act that says federal money can’t be        weeks after that to start the buyouts.25
an additional $706,000 for the cost of    used for buyouts unless a slow
demolishing the houses.19                 deliberate process is followed.”22                   Still, it was six months before
                                                                                      the surveys were done, and owners
         Unfortunately, it would be                By July, 1994, residents who       began to get their checks. In the interim
nearly a year before any homeowner        had expressed an interest in the            the Board of Aldermen helped by
would receive his/her buyout check.       buyout were growing impatient. A            creating legal machinery for the city to
Just as some aldermen had anticipat-      group of them met with Mayor                buy some of the historic properties
ed, the delay revolved around the         Anderson and Aldermen Frank Myers           when they were available.26 In
historic houses. It had nothing to do     and Martha Reisinger on July 1 to ask       November, there was another positive
with the proposed levee as they had       officials to try to speed up the process.   move when the Missouri Housing
feared, but with the legal requirement    They were impatient because nearby          Development Commission announced
to evaluate historic homes before they    St. Mary and Perry County were              Ste. Genevieve would get an addition-
could be demolished. Under provi-         moving quickly with their buyout            al community development block

Page 60
grant of $441,000 to help buyout           the famous architect Henry Hobson          made the headquarters for Ste.
candidates with relocation costs.27        Richardson who had designed Trinity        Genevieve’s Parks and Recreation
                                           Church in Boston and the Marshall          Department.33
         By February 18, 1995, the         Field Wholesale Store in Chicago.30
historical analysis of buyout properties   Unfortunately no buyer appeared.                    Unfortunately, for most of the
was complete. In addition, Ste.                                                       houses there were no buyers. Once
Genevieve and the Missouri Depart-                  Problems existed with mov-        these houses were examined by the
ment of Natural Resources (DNR) had        ing the structures. Most of the historic   State Office of Historic Preservation
entered into an agreement to jointly       structures were built in older parts of    and a photographic and written
buy four of the historic homes to          Ste. Genevieve where the streets were      narrative prepared for each, the owner
protect them for further development       too narrow to move houses. A further       received a buyout check, and the city
as historic sites. The city and DNR        difficulty lay in the overhead power       took possession. They were cleared of
jointly put up $58,000. The city’s         and telephone wires that added an          salvageable material and 38 historic
portion was raised by private dona-        additional expense to the already          properties were demolished.34
tions from individuals and the French      heavy cost of moving a house.31
Heritage Relief Committee.28                                                            Four other houses in this area
                                                                                                     were demolished
          On Febru-                                                                                  that had been
ary 29, 1995, the                                                                                    judged to have
first Ste. Gene-                                                                                     no historic val-
vieve residents re-                                                                                  ue, another acci-
ceived their buyout                                                                                  dentally burned
checks. The first                                                                                    down       before
couple to get a                                                                                      demolition, and
check was Kirk                                                                                       Ste. Genevieve
and Denise Rhine-                                                                                    was able to buy
hart. The check                                                                                      and preserve four
was for $20,570.76,                                                                                  others. Five buy-
and Rhinehart ad-                                                                                    out properties in
mitted to reporters                                                                                  the area were
that “. . . its been a                                                                               vacant lots ac-
struggle. But this                                                                                   quired through
makes it a lot                                                                                       the buyout pro-
better. It’s been                                                                                    cess to preclude
almost two years,                                                                                    future building
                       St. Genevieve historic home surrounded by blocks of vacant Buyout land.
and the first 18                                                                                     on them.35
months were very rough. Nobody                   In the end, the only buyer for
seemed to know what was going on. It these historic houses was the City of              Despite the loss of so many
was very frustrating.”29                 Ste. Genevieve itself. In July, 1995, historic homes, the wisdom of the
                                         Ste. Genevieve, acting in conjunction buyout in Ste. Genevieve was obvious
          After these initial buyouts, with Missouri’s Historic Preservation in 1995 when Ste. Genevieve faced
the city made every effort to find Fund, bought three historic houses. flooding again. On May 15, 1995, the
buyers for the historic buildings in the The plan was to “mothball” the houses, Mississippi, swollen by heavy rains
floodplains whose owners took ad- a term that meant stabilizing the began to rise. By May 24, it had
vantage of the buyout. City officials buildings until they could be moved or exceeded the 1973 flood level, and
listed properties for sale in historic raised above the level of flooding.32    people prepared for a replay of 1993.36
preservation magazines and advert-                                              Fortunately, the river level did not go
ized in newspapers. The April 12,                Earlier Ste. Genevieve had above 44 feet which was nearly 6 feet
1995, issue of the Ste. Genevieve purchased a smaller house, whose lower than the 1993 crest, but this
Herald listed the Train Depot on Front location allowed movers to move it event served to remind people not only
Street as a property for sale. The out of the floodplain to the city park of the danger they had faced in 1993,
building was a 19th century design by where it was later refurbished, and but also of the wisdom of the buyout.37

                                                                                                                    Page 61
         In 1995, the rising water         tourists visit the historic town every      Engineer’s levee that is rising between
covered two-thirds of the area that it     year according to Betty Seibel.             Ste. Genevieve and the Mississippi. It
had in 1993, including the buyout sites    Frances C. Ballinger, head of Ste.          will be completed in mid-2001, will
that had been flooded two years            Genevieve’s Tourist Information             run 3.5 miles, and be from 21 to 28 feet
before.36 It was clear that the buyout     Board, feels the figure should be           high. To qualify for the levee, citizens
had done its job by removing at risk       135,000. The high point is the annual       had to vote a 1 ½ cent sales tax on
people from the floodplain. In fact, one   Jour de Fete celebration the second         themselves to raise $1.5 million—part
homeowner who had not joined the           week in August, although the annual         of the matching fund amount the Corps
buyout after 1993, did ask to be bought    celebration of Bastille Day on July         needed before they could start on the
out after the 1995 flood.39                14th is gaining in popularity.40            levee. It is a mark of the confidence the
                                                                                       people of Ste. Genevieve feel about
       Ste. Genevieve is a prosper-                  The clearest sign of prosperity   their town that the sales tax proposal
ous town today. An estimated 100,000       for the little town is the great Corps of   passed by a margin of 4-1.41

    Peaceful present day view of Ste. Genevieve
    Buyout property from the top of the rock and
    earth levee protecting the town (above) stands
    in sharp contrast to the flurry of volunteer
    activity that took place during the flood (right).

Page 62
                                   St. Louis and
                                 St. Louis County

       t. Louis was used to big floods,               Then suddenly on July 24           million gallons of water per second.9
       and when the Mississippi River       things became serious. Four children         As they swept past the city they
       rose 14 feet in 48 hours on          and two adult counselors from St.            backed up the water in the River Des
March 4 and 5, 1993, residents were         Joseph’s Home For Boys, were                 Peres (the boundary between St.
not worried. They still were not            drowned in a flash flood inside the          Louis City and St. Louis County in the
worried when water began to creep           Cliff Cave at Cliff Cave Park in south       south) causing it to flood out of its
across Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard         St, Louis,6 and a section of the             banks. In order to prevent the
and cover the bottom step of the            concrete flood wall at the 9100 Block        flooding of houses along Germania
famous Gateway Arch.1 After all, St.        of Riverview Boulevard threatened to         St. north of the River and those along
Louis legends spoke of really big           fail when flood waters dug a 60 foot-        Carondelet Blvd. and Weber St. south
floods, like the one in 1844, when the      wide hole underneath it. Workers             of the river, residents on both sides of
river rose so high that steamboats tied     struggled all day to fill the hole with      the River Des Peres had frantically
up to the front porches of businesses in    6,000 tons of rock dumped on both            built a sandbag levee to contain the
downtown St. Louis.2                        sides of the wall at the break site and to   rising backwash.
                                            build a seven-foot high ring dike
        The Corps of Engineers warned       around where the water emerged on                     Unfortunately, on July18, a 15
St. Louis on June 25 to expect serious      the dry side of the wall.                    foot section of that levee gave way and
flooding, but then the rain stopped and                                                  collapsed. Approximately 264 houses
the waters began to recede. St.                      The ring dike allowed a pool        were either flooded or suffered from
Louisans smiled, said “I told you so,”      to form over the site where the water        backed up sewers and flooded base-
and went on with plans for July 3           gushed out in order to equalize the          ments.10 Residents repaired the dam-
opening of the Veiled Prophet Fair.3        force of the water that exerted pressure     age, but on July 20 a section of the
                                            from the other side. The water coming        levee on the north side of the river east
         Then it began to rain again.       through the wall took the course of          of Alabama Avenue gave way and
This time the river really began to rise.   least resistance and rejoined the            several more homes were damaged in
By July 15, the level of the Mississippi    normal course of the flood’s flow            addition to the Monsanto Carondelet
at St. Louis was 43.23 feet, 13 feet        downstream. The patch reduced the            Plant. Undaunted, volunteers began a
above the river level of 30 feet that       flow by 75%, and only a few industrial       back up levee and determined to build
marked what was considered flood-           sites were flooded.7                         it high enough to withstand a 49 foot
stage at St. Louis. St. Louis, however,                                                  crest. Uncertain as to where the
is protected by a giant earth and                    On the 26, to further reduce        structure would break next, residents
concrete levee that rises 22 feet high      the threat of water’s undercutting the       filled city trucks with sandbags,
and runs 11 miles from the mouth of         flood wall, engineers bored holes in         stationed them behind the levee wall,
Maline Creek, near the Chain of Rocks       the inside base of the wall and pumped       and waited for the next threat to
Bridge to the foot of Cherokee Street in    in 111 cubic yards of concrete to            develop.11
south St. Louis. Floodwaters would          stabilize the concrete and steel base of
have to rise to 52 feet before they         the wall. This finally stopped the flow              The crisis compounded in
would go over the top of this levee.4 By    and the flood wall was safe.8                the area when the St. Louis Fire
July 22 the Mississippi’s crest was at                                                   Department ordered 11,800 resi-
47.05 feet, 3.82 feet higher than the               The flood waters still needed        dents in the area to evacuate their
second highest river level in history       a place to go as they rushed past St.        homes for fear that fifty-one 30,000
recorded in 1973.5                          Louis and its flood wall at about 7.4        gallon propane tanks in the Phillips

                                                                                                                        Page 63
Petroleum Company Tank Yard at            became a problem. Police, their                   In Bellefontaine Neighbors,
8722 South Broadway might ex-             resources already stretched to the       the residents erected a sandbag levee
plode.12 Divers tried to minimize the     limit throughout the city and county,    along Maline Creek that, in normal
danger of explosion by arranging for      asked for the assistance of Missouri     times, empties into the Mississippi. But
the endangered tanks to float             Army and Air National Guard              by July 6, water from the Mississippi
harmlessly out of the yard, into a        military police to help protect the      was backing up into Maline Creek, and
natural cul-de-sac, but the potential     area.18 At first, unarmed Guardsmen      threatening houses along its banks. On
for explosion remained.13 Neverthe-       assisted armed police, but soon          July 22, the water appeared to be
less enough local residents re-           potential danger to these unarmed        receding, and sandbagging residents
mained, or returned every day to          troops resulted in the order to carry    relaxed. However, by July 25, the
continue building the levee higher.       loaded .45 caliber pistols.19 During     water rose to threatening levels
Their goal was to build it high           the 19 days the residents were           again.21 By July 28th, the situation was
enough to withstand a 50 foot             absent, two man teams of military        so desperate that residents needed help
crest.14 In the end their efforts paid    and civilian police set up road          from National Guard troops with
off. The levee held until the             blocks and patrolled the area on         sandbagging. Nevertheless, on August
Mississippi River level dropped far       either side of the River Des Peres.      1 the levee broke and flood water
enough to allow the River Des Peres       They dealt with numerous acts of         reached 41 homes. Workers quickly
to flow east again lessening pressure     vandalism, arson, assault, attempted     began a secondary levee to save what
of the levee.15 By August 6,              rape, drunkenness, and disorderly        they could. By the time the water level
authorities allowed some residents to     conduct. Fortunately they were able      began to fall on August 3, l51 homes
return to their homes, but many           to do so without firing a single         had been flooded.22
homes were ruined.16                      shot.20
                                                                                            Fenton, in western St. Louis
         Just up the River Des Peres               The flooding along the River    County was luckier than many
from these houses was an unincorpo-       Des Peres and in Lemay was some of       Missouri communities. Only 12 hous-
rated section of St. Louis County         the most dramatic and widely             es were threatened by the flood. Two of
called Lemay. Like their neighbors        publicized in the St. Louis/St. Louis    these were in the historic Old Town
further down stream, Lemay’s resi-        County area. Many other locations,       part of the city, and the rest were
dents had built their own sandbag         however, while they did not receive      scattered along the banks of the
levee only to see it give way and allow   the notoriety, were just as disturbing   Meramec River and a local tributary,
flood water into 150 homes. Because       for the people who lived there.          Fenton Creek. Most of “Old Town,”
the area was so near the Mississippi,
James White, St. Louis County
Emergency Management Director,
estimated residents would not be able
to return until mid-August. People in
Lemay faced the same danger as their
neighbors when concerns rose about
the same propane tanks in the Phillips
tank yard, and were also forced to
evacuate because of that same

        In addition to floodwater
and propane tanks, other problems
faced the people in the Lemay/River
Des Peres area. Many homes in both
areas remained vacant for nearly
three weeks. Such a large number of
uninhabited houses brought out the
worst in some people, and looting
                                              Volunteers work to erect a sandbag levee in the St. Louis area.

Page 64
the heart of Fenton, was too high for the
flooding Meramec River.23 Elsewhere,
however, homeowners built individual
levees around their houses. Ten of
these individual levees held, but two
gave way causing extensive damage to
two houses.24

         In Brentwood, both Deer
Creek and Bear Creek, flow into River
Des Peres, and both of these creeks had
flooded 10 times since 1975. So, by
1993, flooding was a repeat of an all
too familiar occurrence. Although
residents made concerted efforts to
throw up sandbag levees, nearly 100
buildings suffered some kind of water                           A flooded home in the St. Louis area.
damage. Twelve homes along Pendle-
ton and Hilldale Avenues were ruined
beyond repair.                              flood damaged homes. In that article,       to explore how the money would affect
                                            Koenig wrote that the government            them specifically. Many small com-
The Buyout Program                          estimated that 230 homeowners in            munities like Bellefontaine Neighbors
                                            south St. Louis and Lemay alone             lacked the employees to process the
          in                                would be interested in pursuing the         paperwork that was necessary in order
                                            buyout program. The article did not         to launch a buyout program. They
    St. Louis and                           give a figure for the whole of the St.      found it efficient to hire a consultant to
  St. Louis County                          Louis/St. Louis County area, but it did     do these things for them. For $19,430,
                                            state that under the bill, Missouri         Bellefontaine Neighborhoods hired

       aken together, there were            could get as much as $24.7 million in       Jerry King, of RJK Inc., to help them
       nearly 700 individual homes          buyout funds.26                             with the application process. King,
       in St. Louis City and St. Louis                                                  whose Community Planning Develop-
County seriously damaged before                      Soon after that initial article,   ment Corporation, had already con-
floodwaters began to fall on August         on December 22, Koenig reported             tracted to help St. Charles County to
3rd.25 Most of these homeowners             more specifics. His article, “New           administer their $13.2 million recov-
welcomed the announcement on                Flood Assistance Will Go To Buy-            ery program, would prove equally
December 2, 1993, that President            outs,” stated that St. Louis City was       effective in running Bellefontaine
Clinton had signed Representative           planning to buy 235 homes, and St.          Neighbors’ smaller program. Not only
Harold Volkmer’s Hazard Mitigation          Louis county planned to propose the         his results, measured in terms of
and Relocation Assistance Bill.             buyout plan to 550 homeowners. The          money, but the numbers of residents
                                            money would come not only from the          participating in the buyout program
         The first official mention of      Hazard Mitigation Grant Program             were impressive.27
the possibility of a buyout program for     administered by the State Emergency
St. Louis and St. Louis County area         Management Agency, but from Com-                     In Bellefontaine Neighbors,
came in an article of the St. Louis Post    munity Development Block Grant              100 houses had received some kind of
Dispatch on November 10. Robert L.          money administered by the Missouri          water damage from floodwaters or
Koenig, the Post’s Washington D.C.          Department of Economic Develop-             sewers backing up, but 20 houses had
correspondent, reported that the            ment.                                       sustained major damage, having flood
House of Representative’s House                                                         water up to their roofs. These homes
Public Work Committee was discuss-                  Following those announce-           were total losses.28 Some of the
ing a bill of Representative Volkmer’s      ments, various towns and sections of        owners briefly considered rebuilding
that would provide money to purchase        St. Louis and St. Louis County began        on the same site, but they changed their

                                                                                                                        Page 65
minds when they learned that new          though the ‘95 flood damaged few          “we can’t force anyone to participate,
federal regulations required houses in    homes in Bellefontaine Neighbors, it      and we hope the offers will be
the area be rebuilt on foundations high   made some residents there nervous.        reasonable. Nobody deserves to be
enough to prevent future flooding. The    One woman told a reporter from the        tormented like these people have.” He
cost was just too high, and the owners    Post Dispatch that if they offer a        was referring to flood damage that had
finally agreed with Mayor Marty           buyout again, “This old lady is going     occurred 10 times since 1975.35
Rudloff that the best use of the land     to take the money and run to
was a permanent seven acre green          someplace high.”33                                On September 25, 1995, the
space. They had faced floods before,                                                Federal Emergency Management
but nothing like the magnitude of the               In Brentwood, another St.       Agency approved $31,715 in buyout
‘93 flood, and while average buyout       Louis County town, the flood of ‘95       money. The city used $6,455 of its own
offer of $25,085 would not make           also reinforced that the ‘93 buyout       revenue and $4,116 from a community
anyone rich, it would allow them to       program was a success. In 1995, Deer      development block grant to raise the
make a fresh start and escape the         and Black Creeks once more left their     25% in matching funds, to raise the
yearly spring anxiety about floods.       banks to flood the exact same area they   $42,286 dollars necessary to buy the
This feeling was so strong, and the       had in 1993. But this time, all the       13 most heavily damaged homes in the
owners so disgusted with living in a      houses damaged in the ‘93 flood were      floodplain.36
floodplain area, that none of them        gone, and the water covered only grass
disputed the value that buyout apprais-   fields.34
ers put on their homes.30

         By July 2, 1994, 10 residents
of Bellefontaine Neighbors had re-
ceived buyout checks from Mayor
Marty Rudloff, and on July 22, the last
10 homeowners got their checks at a
ceremony attended by both Governor
Mel Carnahan and James Lee Witt,
Director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Mark Schlink-
mann, reporter for the St. Louis Post
Dispatch, asked one of the recipients,
60 year old Marian Dishon, who had
lived in her house 32 years, if she was
satisfied with the payment she had
received from the buyout. Her answer:
“You have to be, what are you going to
do?,” reflected the attitude of many
flood victims worn out by too many        Bellefontaine Neighbors made a community park on Buyout property.
springs fighting flood waters. It was a
case of too much too often.31                      After the flood of ‘93, the               Seemayer is still the Brent-
                                          Brentwood Board of Aldermen had           wood City Administrator and is still
        The buyout program had            moved quickly to take advantage of        enthusiastic about the program. He
removed those homes most at risk.         the buyout opportunity. They drafted      said the buyout program was “great
Since that time Bellefontaine Neigh-      an application and sent it to the         from start to finish,” and that officials
bors has turned the lots of the 20        homeowners whose homes had suf-           from SEMA and FEMA “were as
houses into a park. In 1995, flood        fered damages and encouraged them         helpful as they could be.”37
waters again came to St. Louis, but       to return it quickly. However, at the
compared to the 1993 water levels, the    time, Chris Seemayer, Brentwood                   Another enthusiastic support-
41.8 foot river level was “puny” as the   City Administrator stressed, in an        er of the program is Fenton’s Public
Post Dispatch described it.32 Even        interview with the Post Dispatch that,    Works Director Mark Sartors. Mea-

Page 66
sured in numbers, the Fenton buyout         residents of Lemay had submitted                    In 1993, for instance, SEMA
program was small, only nine houses         applications. These people understood      reported that in the Lemay area, 492
purchased at a cost of $276,099. But        they were not making a hard and fast       people had applied for either disaster
the rewards came early in the spring,       commitment. Most were merely               housing and/or individual family
1994, when a flash flood swept              curious about the price that SEMA          grants. The cost of these two combined
through the same area as that where the     would agree to let the county pay for      figures was $571,918. In 1995, with
‘93 flood waters had been, and              their homes.41 However, when these         the same area only a little less seriously
although water once more entered the        individuals received the official as-      hurt by floodwaters, the number of
same homes along Fenton Creek and           sessments of the pre-flood values of       applicants was 16, and the cost for the
the Meramec River, there was nobody         their homes, 90 decided to accept the      same two basic services was $7,956.
living in them. The owners had moved        offers.42 By May of 1995, St. Louis        The difference was that 105 Lemay
out and, after deciding to participate in   County had acquired 210 more               houses, located in the flooded area
the buyout, and were waiting for the        properties in the River Des Peres/         were empty in 1995. The owners had
buyout money to arrive. The houses          Lemay area.43                              already sold their “at risk” real estate to
stood empty waiting for the wrecking                                                   St. Louis County and had moved
crews.                                               These totals, added to other      elsewhere.46 In fact at the time of the
                                            buyout offers in the unincorporated        ‘95 flood, only three occupied homes
         The force of the ‘94 flood was     areas of St. Louis County, meant that a    remained in Lemay’s floodplain.47
especially violent, and could have          total of 425 properties scattered
created considerable danger to human        throughout the area, had been acquired              Similar statistics continued to
life had those homes been occupied.         under the buyout plan. By that same        be recorded throughout the St. Louis/
One empty house was picked up by the        date 120 of them had been demol-           St. Louis county area. The American
rushing water and deposited in the          ished.44 Nick Gragnani, an emergency       Red Cross, whose statistics did not
middle of the street.                       management specialist for St. Louis        break down relief costs by neighbor-
                                            County, summed up the situation in the     hoods, but instead dealt with the whole
         Looking back, Mark Sartors         area, “Having far fewer residents          eastern Missouri/southern Illinois to-
considered the money well spent.            means far fewer problems. Mitigation       gether, told the Post Dispatch that in
Fenton handled the buyout itself.           works.”45                                  1993, they served 13,000 households
Valerie Adams, City Clerk, coordi-                                                     in that area, but only 2,700 during the
nated the application of residents and              The success of the program         1995 flood.48 Mary Campbell, Direc-
passed them along to SEMA offi-             quickly bore fruit. In late April, 1995,   tor of Community Development for St.
cials.36 The process moved rapidly          heavy rains brought flooding back to       Louis county estimated that the buyout
thereafter. SEMA approved the buy-          Missouri. By May 22, the flood stage       program, by removing people from
out on April 12, 1994, the first owners     of the Mississippi stood at 41.8 feet,     flood prone area after the ‘93 flood,
received their checks on August 1,          well below the levels of 1993, but high    had saved the county $7.2 million by
1994, and the city purchased the last       enough to see many of the same areas       the end of the ‘95 flood. Campbell also
house on December 21.39                     of St. Louis/St. Louis County—             pointed out that the buyout program in
                                            including the River Des Peres and          the county had saved the federal
        In St. Louis County, Mary           Lemay— flooded again. Yet this time,       government $4.7 million in flood
Campbell, County Community Devel-           the bill for flooding, measured in         insurance payments to homeowners
opment Director, helped process the         terms of costs for disaster housing,       and businesses.49
paperwork for the buyouts in the River      emergency monetary grants to flood
Des Peres area and the unincorporated       victims, emergency evacuation, was
Lemay area.40 By August 1, 1994, 108        dramatically less.
                                                                                           The buyout program was
                                                                                         proving to be an unqualified
                                                                                         success measured not only in
                                                                                         the alleviation of suffering, but
                                                                                         in dollars and cents.

                                                                                                                        Page 67
       ew places in Missouri can claim
       to have utilized the buyout
       program as completely as St.
                                                                   St. Mary
Mary. Encouraged by Governor Car-
nahan’s support for the residential
buyout program, and combining funds
from the state’s community develop-
ment block grant program with money
from the hazard mitigation grant
program, this small Mississippi River
town moved 90% of its threatened
citizens out of an area that habitually
flooded; this has saved the state of
Missouri hundreds of thousands of
dollars in emergency services to
evacuate, maintain, and ultimately
return 22 families to homes that would
ultimately be at risk again. A cost
benefit ratio, computed by Missouri’s
State Emergency Management Agen-
cy (SEMA), estimates that in the next
15 years, the state and federal            Working all across the state, Governor Mel Carnahan, members of the
government will save $3.74 cents for       Missouri National Guard, and hundreds of other local, state, and federal
                                           workers spent hundreds of hours away from their families to help others
every dollar spent in the program.1
                                           during the floods of ‘93 and ‘95.
         St. Mary’s problem area was       poverty scale, the several hundred       solution. City Clerk JoAnn Donze
five acres of land at the southern edge    dollars a year in Flood Insurance        organized a meeting of affected
of town where houses had been              premiums were simply too expensive.2     families on October 19, 1993, and
constructed. Two sloughs ran through                                                Kathy Mangels of the Southeast
this problem area, named St. Lawrence                When the flood waters came     Missouri Regional Planning Com-
Creek and Regular Slough, both of          again in ‘93, the town’s citizens        mission explained the mechanics of a
which overflowed regularly during          banded together to do what they had      buyout. This proposal was not based
times of high water, especially in the     so often done before – build a           on the proposed legislation of
annual spring runoff every April and       makeshift levee between Pine and         Representative Volkmer, which had
May. This high water usually affected      Walnut Street in an effort to save the   not passed Congress at this time, but
only a few houses, but in times of         buildings and residences along Main      was based on pre-existing legislation.
serious flooding, every residence and      Street. This area included the post      Almost everyone at the meeting voted
business was either threatened or          office, a service station, the MFA       to pursue a buyout option. On
damaged. Because flooding was so           granary, the bank, and two residenc-     November 12, 1993, the city council
frequent, the residents simply became      es. In 1993, the citizens of St. Mary    voted to seek buyout funds through a
inured to the inconvenience and            built a levee, 12-14 high around these   community development block grant
accepted these periodic bouts of high      structures and saved them, but they      from the Missouri Department of
water; these properties were inexpen-      could not prevent the water from         Economic Development, to buy all
sive and most of these people could        flooding the other homes in this area.   the residences in the 100 year flood
afford to live nowhere else. Many had      Once the water came, it stayed for a     plain, demolish them, and permanent-
also grown used to periodic govern-        month, making a total loss of every      ly eliminate this source of misery
ment grants that allowed them to           structure outside the levee.3            from St. Mary.4 The request asked
rebuild their homes in this substandard                                             homeowners to accept a post-flood
area. Only six of the 22 families in the           The extensive damage and         value assessment of their homes
area bothered to carry flood insurance.    the longevity of the flood convinced     instead of the more usual pre-flood
For people on the low end of the           people that it was time to seek a        assessment.

Page 68
         In this case the pre-flood price   city handed16 property owners checks               By November of 1994, how-
was based on an appraisal that was in       for their homes, and announced plans       ever, when it appeared that most
turn based on the frequency of              to buy 20 more in the floodplain.          people who were going to take
flooding in the area, and that was very     When the residential buyout program        advantage of the residential buyout
low, averaging only $4,946.54. When         was completed on May 31, 1995, the         program had done so, Governor
the value of previous government            city government had purchased 32           Carnahan decided that some state
loans and grants to repair earlier flood    homes.10                                   community development block grant
damage was deducted from this                                                          money could be made available to
amount, the average amount offered a                 Two of the homes were             buy out commercial properties. On
homeowner was less than $600.00.            considered historically significant        November 9, 1994, St. Mary’s City
This low amount made it impossible          and St. Mary had to take special           Council learned that the state had
for anyone to get enough money to           precautions with them. It was neces-       approved $261,000 to buy commer-
move out of the floodplain. However,        sary to hire individuals from the          cial properties. The City Council had
the special provisions of the communi-      Missouri Historical Society to do a        already annexed land south of the
ty development block grant made it          study of the homes, take pictures, and     town, but out of the floodplain. This
possible for each homeowner to not          identify any historically significant      land allowed six businesses a place
only receive a small amount of money        materials in the homes. This material      upon which to relocate.
for his/her home, but also a substantial    had to be stripped out of the structure
grant of up to $22,500 to relocate out of   and offered for sale. Any money                     As in most cases, the pay off
the floodplain.5 Governor Carnahan’s        received from such sales was sub-          for St. Mary’s energetic buyout
office approved this arrangement on         tracted from the total awarded to the      program came in 1995, when the
February 14.6                               city.11 In this case, the sale of          same area flooded again. This time,
                                            historically significant light fixtures,   however, almost everyone had gone,
         But St. Mary did not stop with     flooring, doors, and trim, netted only     and only four families were then
the community development block             $154.00.12                                 living in the area. This second flood
grant request. On December 28, 1993,                                                   convinced even these hold outs, and
again acting on advice from Kathy                     Yet, St. Mary did not stop       St. Mary is currently seeking funds to
Mangels of the Southeast Missouri           there. Ms. Donze, along with Kathy         get these people out too.
Regional Planning Commission, the           Mangels of the Southeast Missouri
city council submitted another request.     Regional Planning Commission, sub-                 As for the land, St. Mary has
This time it could take advantage of        mitted another community develop-          seeded it with grass, so that the only
Representative Harold Volkmer’s leg-        ment block grant for money to buy          expense to the town is mowing it.15
islation that aimed at buying flood         commercial properties that had been        Now every spring, when the St.
damaged residences throughout Mis-          ruined by the flood. Ms. Donze had         Lawrence Creek and Regular Slough
souri’s floodplains. On April 12, 1994,     originally included a request to buy       back up, the rising water serves only
Governor Carnahan’s office approved         out six commercial properties with         to remind people of the successful
that request for funds and awarded St.      her first request for federal funds from   outcome of an innovative program.
Mary $142,987 to add to the town’s          FEMA in Novem-
earlier grant.7 The town now had            ber, 1993. However,
$491,593 to spend on its buyout             at that time, Gover-
program, and an additional $22,165          nor Carnahan had
from a separate public assistance grant     already determined
to pay for the cost of demolishing the      that the state would
homes.8                                     concentrate its ef-
                                            forts on residential
       Purchase of home sites start-        buyout to impact the
ed on June 27, 1994, with the               largest number of
purchase of a house trailer lot. The        people, so that part
owner received $2,503 for his trailer       of the request was
pad and a relocation allowance of           denied.13
                                                                               Blocks of flood prone property
$20,639.9 On August 14, 1994, the                                              are now open space in St. Mary.

                                                                                                                    Page 69
                                                                                    Hills Commission did not have all the
                                                                                    details; their goal had been to test
                        Wakenda                                                     public opinion to the buyout idea to
                                                                                    see whether people were interested
                                                                                    enough to attend a second meeting

         n December 20, 1996, the          of this magnitude had never happened     where FEMA officials could tell them
         citizens      of    Wakenda       before in the town.4                     more details. In fact, the presentations
         voluntarily dis-incorporated                                               confused many people, and the
their town and simply left. They left               The flood water quickly         October 11th issue of the Carrollton
behind only a granite monument to          devastated the whole of southern         Daily Democrat reported that most
mark the site where 43 families had        Carroll County. Crop lands totaling      “left with more questions than
lived before the flood of ‘93.1 Located    122,000 acres were soon covered          answers.” Some Wakenda residents
five miles southeast of Carrollton in      with water, the southern end of          expressed displeasure with the buyout
Carroll County, Wakenda had been           Carrollton was flooded, and 70% of       idea. Alvin Yuille, made the state-
near the tracks of the Atchison Topeka     the businesses in that area were         ment that “the money you pay us for
and Santa Fe Railroad, and had been a      threatened.5 By July 12, Carroll         our property in Wakenda will only
successful little farming community.       County had been declared a disaster      pay about a fourth of the price in
In 1910, the town had a population of      area, and emergency assistance from      Carrollton.”7
400, two hotels, three churches, and a     the Federal government became
railroad station where trains of the       available to Carroll County flood                  Most of the people from the
Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe               victims in the form of low interest      first meeting, however, were inter-
Railroad made four stops a day.            loans, emergency housing, and other      ested enough in the idea to attend
However, when the railroads began          types of assistance. This government     another meeting on October 18, at St.
cutting back service to small rural        help kept hope alive, and in early       Mary’s Catholic School in Carrollton
towns in the 1950s Wakenda began to        August when the water started to         where Robert Fretteluso, a FEMA
die.2 By 1993, there were 90 people        recede, Carroll county citizens began    official, explained the intricacies of
living in the town, and the businesses     to rebuild and repair.                   the buyout program. This was the
were a grain elevator, an auto repair                                               buyout program that had been in
shop, and a grocery store. The town                In Wakenda, however, the         existence since 1980, which was
had a school that contained eight          damage was severe to the point           substantially different than the one
grades; at the ninth grade level, the      where, after viewing their homes,        Representative Volkmer would pro-
students were bussed to Carrollton.        many residents began to feel that        pose a month later. Still, Fretteluso’s
                                           rebuilding was futile. Nearly every      presentation introduced residents to
         The flood of ‘93 was totally      home in the town was damaged             the concept of a property buyout.
unexpected. Unlike other towns on          beyond repair, total rebuilding of       Denise Stottlemeyer, the Director of
Missouri’s various floodplains that        each home seemed the only option.6 It    the Green River Regional Planning
had experienced numerous floods,           was this gloomy appraisal that led 60    Commission, also laid out the process
Wakenda had not experienced one            citizens of Wakenda, two-thirds of       of applying for a buyout grant. She
since 1952.3 On July 8, 1993,              the town, to attend a buyout meeting     warned some of the people thinking
however, the levee systems guarding        October 7th in the Carroll County        of rebuilding and “flood proofing”
Wakenda from Wakenda Creek to the          Courthouse. The Green Hills Re-          their homes that they had “the
north and the Missouri River to the        gional Planning Commission, an           opportunity to do something now. If
south began to fail and two days later     organization that helps 11 counties in   you stay where you are, with [flood
seven inches of water had risen in         northwest Missouri with government       proofing], the opportunity may not
Wakenda. That water level would rise       programs, called this October 7th        come along again.”8
to an average of six feet by mid-July      meeting. Citizens learned the outline
and remain for 13 weeks. Some of the       of the buyout program built into the              From October to December,
55 houses in Wakenda simply                Federal Emergency Management             the residents of Wakenda and Ms.
collapsed, while others were twisted       Agency’s 404 program. Unfortu-           Stottlemeyer moved through the
off their foundations. The town was a      nately, while the general provisions     intricacies of the applications that
total loss, a fact that was magnified in   of the buyout program seemed             would be submitted to SEMA for final
the residents’ minds because damage        promising, the officials of the Green    approval by FEMA. There were

Page 70
            Aerial view of Wakenda                       buyouts are reasonable       tried to organize the affair, it was just
         buyout area in Carroll County.                  we’ll move,” stated one      too painful for many of Wakenda’s
                                                         owner. “Either way, we       citizens to attend, and so she
                                                         wish the government          abandoned the idea.16 Ms. Trella
                                                         would just tell us the       Ward, who grew up in Wakenda, and
                                                         prices. Until then there’s   now lives in Carrollton, has never
                                                         a lot of people left         been out to see the monument, not
                                                         hanging on a string          from lack of interest, but because it
                                                         here.”13 As with most        would be too emotional.17
                                                         buyout sites, there were
                                                         hold outs. Seven fami-                But Wakenda’s story is not
                                                         lies refused to move         over. The United States Forest Service
                                                         until May of 1995 when       has planted a stand of 30 trees near the
                                                         it appeared that there       monument in order to study the long
delays. In October, Wakenda residents     would be a repeat flooding of the area.     term effects of flooding on Missouri
delayed the application process briefly   This time, the flood water in               trees.18 The site of Wakenda is now
while they studied different types of     Wakenda was only seven and a half           part of a 250,000 acre watershed
assessment processes.9 In November,       inches, but it persuaded all but two of     project managed by the National
seven Wakenda families returned to        the hold outs to evacuate. The last two     Resources Conservation Service
Wakenda determined to make re-            families were located on slightly           (NRCS) that will attempt to reduce the
pairs.10 In December, SEMA delayed        higher ground in the town site, and         potential for floods in the area.19
the application process. The delay had    remain to this date, along with the
some merit. If Wakenda dis-incorpo-       grain elevator that is still operating.14
rated, there would be no corporate        By September 5, 1995, 30 homes had
entity to supervise demolition of the     been demolished at Wakenda, at an
area, or oversee the abandoned area       average cost of between $5,300 and
afterwards. SEMA wanted Carroll           $6,000.15
County to become the sponsor for
these post buyout activities.11                    On December 27, 1996, the
                                          Carrollton Democrat carried
         Finally, on April 12, 1994,      Wakenda’s final epitaph, “Wakenda
SEMA accepted Wakenda’s applica-          Becomes Dis-incorporated as a
tion that asked for $408,000 to begin     Town.” The article reviewed the
the buyout. Later, The Green Hills        buyout process and reported that the
Regional Planning Commission              land had been leased to a local truck
sought additional funds on behalf of      farmer, Peter Gunn, who planned to
Wakenda homeowners, and by the            grow watermelons, cantaloupes, and
end of the buyout program in June of      other fruits. It also reported that an
1997, Wakenda residents had pro-          advisory board, made up of ex-
cured a total of $654,027, with FEMA      Wakenda citizens had formed to
providing $216,966, and a commu-          commission a monument to the now
nity development block grant supply-      vanished town. That board had
ing $436,561. Once the money was          ordered a granite monument six feet
approved, homeowners could apply,         tall that included the bell from the
and The Green Hills Regional              Walnut Grove Baptist Church. The
Planing Commission opened an              town of Wakenda had endowment               A granite monument six feet tall
office in the Carrollton Courthouse to    funds both to build the monument and        that includes the bell from the
help applicants.12 Wakenda citizens       to maintain a small area around the         Walnut Grove Baptist Church is all
adopted a wait and see attitude           monument. At the time plans were            that remains of Wakenda after the
towards the government offers, and        made for a dedication ceremony.             town moved following the floods
generally complained about the long       However, that ceremony never took           of ‘93 and ‘95.
waits for a buyout offer. “If the         place. Although Ms. Stottlemeyer

                                                                                                                     Page 71
            arren County, a predomi-                Reuben Eichmeyer, was
            nately agricultural area, is   speaking from personal experience.
            in east central Missouri.
Most of the county escaped flooding in
                                           When the waters began to rise along
                                           the Missouri in early July, he moved
both 1993 and 1995. Where the
Missouri River forms the southern
                                           the printing equipment for the
                                           Marthasville Record above the high         County and
boundary of the county, however, was       water mark of 1986 and waited for the
the exception. Prosperous farms domi-
nate this part of the county, and its
                                           water to rise. Other business owners
                                           did the same. Lictenberg Funeral
predominately German descendants           Home moved their supply of caskets to
are culturally similar to those who        higher ground, David Gaddie moved
settled Hermann and Rhineland in the       the cars in his Marthasville Auto Body     as flood water ruined bumper corn
mid 19th century. Like the citizens of     Shop up the hill, senior citizens at the   crops. Their farm houses, that had
those other two towns, the Warren          Charrette Senior Citizen’s Apartments      usually stood above the high water
County citizens, who live beside the       moved to motels or went to live with       mark, also suffered the mud and muck
Missouri River, are philosophical          relatives, the U.S. Post Office made       of the flood water. The flash flood in
about floods. They seem to take a          arrangements to operate out of Murrill     September was especially destruc-
certain pride in their ability to spring   Wohler’s Garage, and the street            tive, and several farm houses were
back from these periodic natural           department cut an emergency road           even swept off their foundations. One
disasters. An editorial in the             through Steve Lochirco’s apple or-         woman, Gertrude Hogard, died when
Marthasville Record, written by editor     chard to Highway 47 so the town            her house crashed into Tugue Creek, a
Reuben Eichmeyer, not only describes       would not be isolated by high water.1      usually small stream that flowed into
the disruption of a flood, but reflects                                               the Missouri east of town.4
pride in the ability of the local people            By the end of September,
to adapt:                                  Marthasville had flooded three times,              People in Marthasville and
                                           and water lay 18 to 24 inches in the       along the Missouri River first learned
                                           city streets. Although there was no        about the buyout program when the
                                           official way to measure the water          Marthasville Record announced a
      “It’s the uncertainty, the           level, it seemed that this was the         meeting December 10th at the
   waiting, waiting, waiting, that         highest the water had been in living       Hearnes Multipurpose Center on the
   gets you. And then the knowl-           memory, according to Lydia Zillgitt,       University of Missouri Campus in
   edge for those of us who have           who had either lived in or maintained      Columbia, Missouri. The article
   been there before of the back-          a property in Marthasville all her         explained that Representative
   breaking massive clean up               years. In 1993, she took photos of the     Volkmer had organized the meeting
   which must be done when its             flooded town from a rowboat. She           and would explain his recently
   over. Add to that the despair           noted that flood water measured eight      approved bill that made money
   of lost income, lost posses-            feet high on the telephone poles.2         available to buyout residential dwell-
   sions, and the foul-mouth tast-         Ruby Buchholz, a one time resident         ings and that also simplified the
   ing stench you breathe day af-          who was well acquainted with               application process.5
   ter day, and you have a flood-          Marthasville’s history, also reported
   plain dweller’s worst night-            that before the flood of ‘93, flood                Under the leadership of Steve
   mare come true.                         waters had never been high enough to       Etcher of the Boonslick Regional
                                           cross the railroad embankment and          Planning Commission, over two
      It takes a strong person to          enter downtown Marthasville.3              dozen families in Warren County
   go through one flood and snap                                                      began the initial application process
   back, and an even stronger                      As difficult as the flood was      for buyout money. By April 28, 1994,
   person to bounce back from re-          for Marthasville, the local farmers        the Marthasville Record reported that
   peated floods over their life-          living along the Missouri east and         Warren County had received a total of
   time.”                                  west of the town suffered more.            $131,500 to buy 14 properties, and
                                           While townspeople could move their         Marthasville—which had made a
                                           property, these farmers had to watch       separate application—had received

Page 72
$123,900 to buy five properties.6         sion. In the June 15, 1995, issue of the   $179,000 in money from SEMA to
Surprisingly with the money avail-        Marthasville Record, editor Reuben         both buy family residences and pay
able, a number of home owners in the      Eichmeyer identified the reason for the    for the demolition of these houses.
county, as well as four Marthasville      exclusion. “The fact that Warren           At the end of the buyout program,
residents, decided to pull out of the     County had such a large buyout             SEMA had presided over the
deal.7 Despite their earlier promise to   program after the 1993 flood affected      purchase of 13 properties with an
participate, there was no penalty or      the county’s damage assessment” by         average final offer of $29,519.68.11
demand that they honor their earlier      SEMA. Eichmeyer’s point was that           Only one of these buildings was in
commitment.                               with so many houses out of harm’s          Marthasville itself, the rest were
                                          way, the usual formula that SEMA           residences of farm families scattered
         The Missouri State Emer-         used, including number of homes            throughout the county. The SEMA
gency Management Agency (SEMA),           damaged, value of contents, and            money did not go to buy out
which administered the FEMA funds         number of people affected, did not rise    agricultural crop land, but was
was committed to the philosophy that      to the level of a Presidential Disaster    confined to purchase of the land on
the buyout program was voluntary.         Declaration.                               which a residence stood.12 The
An individual homeowner could back                                                   reasoning was simple, while a farmer
out at any time before the check was               Regardless of official for-       would not want to live in a flood
actually handed to him/her.8 While        mula, the people of Warren County          threatened home, the farm land could
that policy could make administrative     knew they should be declared part of       still be extensively farmed. Since
headaches for SEMA, it went a long        the disaster area. County Commis-          1995, in fact, those fields have
way to assuring people that they were     sioner Pat Spoonster told county           continued to produce bumper crops.13
in control of their own destinies.        residents to call SEMA to complain.
                                          “Just because we don’t have a lot of                Since 1995, additional threats
        On May 19, 1995, high water       people living in the flood area doesn’t    from flooding have come to Warren
again devastated Warren County            mean we don’t have flood damage,”          County. Recently, some citizens of
along the Missouri River. Residents       Spoonster said in the same                 Marthasville have reconsidered the
saw this flood as the third worst in      Marthasville Record article that           buyout philosophy, and have decided
living memory. Once again,                reported Warren County’s being             under the guidance of the Boonslick
Marthasville businesses moved to          excluded. The Commissioner went on         Regional Planning Commission, to
higher ground, and people had to use      to say that “there were 27 to 37 county    apply for grant money. The goal this
the emergency road through the            roads under water. . . 38 homes have       time is to use money from the NRCS
Lochirco orchard.9                        water. . . 33 to 38 businesses [are]       and Community Development Block
                                          affected. . . . There were also 22,000     Grants to buy homes within
        During this second flood,         acres of farm land inundated.” A           Marthasville that are subject to
however, many in Warren County            week later, whether because of higher      flooding, and to build a watershed
were angry when, at first, President      water levels, or calls to SEMA made        detention system consisting of a
Clinton’s disaster declarations for       an impression, the President added         damn and 16 acre lake to prevent
Missouri excluded their county. It was    Warren County to the disaster list.10      future damage to the town. The
ironic, but the very success of the                                                  project will take a year and a half to
buyout program up to that time may              On August 1, 1995, Warren            complete, and will cost approxi-
have been responsible for the exclu-      County received an additional              mately $1.2 million.14

                                                                                                                   Page 73
        he buyout program was an          1995, only 333 people applied for a       sewage facilities totaled $127 million
        unqualified success by any        total of $216,094 for the same            after the ’93 flood, but only $9.5
        means of measurement. Eco-        services.2                                million after the ‘95 flood.3
nomically, the amount of money
Missouri spent in flood relief during              However, some may argue                   Tom Uhlenbrock, also of the
and after the 1995 flood was markedly     that figures like these are suspect,      Post Dispatch, reached the same
less than similar costs for the 1993      because they have been collected by       general conclusion in an article titled
flood. Emergency assistance in 1993       Missouri’s Emergency Management           “The Big Flood Buyout Program That
to 37,000 Missouri households totaled     Agency (SEMA), the very agency            Worked.” The article’s subtitle,
$34.5 million; in 1995, 4,000 house-      that was charged with administering       “Across Region, Many Low-Lying
holds received $4.1 million.1 The         the buyout program for the Federal        Communities Are Now Ghost Towns
reason is simple; fewer people were in    Emergency Management Agency               Of Abandoned Homes,” reinforced
harm’s way during the second flood.       (FEMA). The fact remains however,         the idea that the buyout program had
Money that might have been needed         that over the three and one half years    simply given people who previously
for relief in ‘95 could be spent          that have elapsed since the end of        lived in the floodplain the opportunity
elsewhere.                                flooding in 1995, the buyout program      to move elsewhere after the ‘93 flood,
                                          has been the subject of several           so there were fewer people for flood
         For individual communities,      investigative reports by major report-    waters to impact in ‘95.4
the results are equally impressive. In    ers from Missouri’s major newspa-
Cedar City, that part of Jefferson City   pers. Like all good reporters these                 Most recently Kevin Mur-
north of the Missouri River, 473          writers are are always on the lookout     phy’s article titled “Flooded-property
residents needed $941,149 in emer-        for stories about corruption, waste, or   buyout is paying off” in the Kansas City
gency aid for disaster housing and        even fraud. Those kind of stories         Star, explains that Missouri’s positive
emergency family grants during the        make exciting reading and sell            experience matches similar, but small-
flood of ‘93. After flood waters          newspapers. Had there been large          er experiences in other flood-impacted
covered substantially the same area in    numbers of people who were cheated        states like Kansas and Illinois.5
1995, there were only 53 emergency        by the government, or a group of
aid applicants who consumed $45,503       people who made inordinately large                 Even outside the United
dollars for the same services.            sums of money from the buyout, these      States, the flood buyout program has
                                          journalists in all likelihood would       elicited positive remarks. The Econo-
         The same general story can be    have exposed anything suspect.            mist, Britain’s prestigious weekly
found in Lemay, where 492 people          Instead, the state’s major newspapers     economic publication, reporting on
used $571,918 for disaster housing        have published mainly positive sto-       the fight against the flood in Ste.
and emergency family grants in the ‘93    ries about the program without a hint     Genevieve, went on to credit the
flood, but in the same area during the    of scandal or mismanagement.              buyout program throughout Missouri
flood of 1995, only 16 people needed a                                              with saving money and being well
total of $7,956. Again in Lemay, the              Tim O’Neil, reporter for the      administered. It estimated that, hav-
flood waters covered approximately        Post Dispatch, cited the buyout           ing spent $100 million after the ‘93
the same area in 1993 as in 1995.         program as the chief reason that the      flood to buyout flooded homes, the
                                          emergency relief cost of the 1995         program will save Missouri $200
        The same picture emerges in       flood was only 5% of the cost of the      million over the next 20 years.6
St. Charles County. Following the         ‘93 flood. His article also pointed out
1993 floods, 4,277 people needed          other reduced costs besides emergen-              Still, with all this positive
$14,174,717 to pay for disaster housing   cy housing and living grants. Repairs     reaction some people who were
and emergency grants. However, in         to public roads, bridges, water, and      victims of the flooding still were not

Page 74
happy, not because they perceived                  Secondly, the success of the      what they had, they distributed wisely
dishonesty, but because they simply        buyout program often depended on          in such ways that they minimized the
disagreed either with the price they       the enthusiasm of the people running      impact of flood victims when they
were offered for their flooded home        it. Most often the program worked         were forced to leave a home and
or how the program was adminis-            best where buyout managers were           moving elsewhere. These payments of
tered. Perhaps nothing can be done         local individuals that local people       between $5,000-$7,000, that were in
about complaints about assessing           knew and trusted. The enthusiasm for      addition to the big federal and state
prices; some people naturally want         the program in Arnold due to Eric         grants made a world of difference to
more—yet concerning the complaints         Knoll, in Cape Girardeau due to Ken       people suffering extreme distress and/
about administration perhaps some          Eftink, in Excelsior Springs due to       or discomfort.
lessons could be learned.                  Molly McGovern, and in Neosho due
                                           to the efforts of Jim Cole, are                    The buyout program is her-
         People complained about the       evidence of this.                         alded by most people as a real
complicated procedure of filling out                                                 success. One measure of that feeling
the buyout applications. Complaints                 Finally, there is certainly a    is that the program continues to the
surfaced about “red tape” and              place in the program for the contribu-    present time. Large scale buyouts are
confusing forms. Certainly experi-         tions of private organizations like the   no longer going on, but a few do go on
ence may alleviate some of these           Salvation Army and the Interfaith         under the auspices of SEMA, that
problems in the future. The program        Disaster Response Network. Com-           every year receives about $500,000 to
was new after the ‘93 flood, and some      pared to the huge sums the state and      help communities make additional
officials also were confused about the     local government spent, these agen-       buyouts and to remove even more
process. After the ‘95 flood, there        cies did not contribute large sums, but   people from the flood plain.7
were fewer complaints about “red
tape” and complicated forms because
SEMA and local officials had worked
out many kinks.

          Still, the complaints about
red tape and difficult forms conceal a
reality. When the government hands
out money, the possibility that some
citizen will try to get more than he/she
is entitled to, exists. Recent American
history is littered with stories about
“Welfare Fraud.” Government forms
are meant to minimize this possibili-
ty. One can only imagine the public
outrage that would have resulted had
some individual received money for a       Buyout property used as open space encourages community picnicking.
house he/she did not own, or received
more money than they deserved.
While future buyout programs be-
come more streamlined, there must
always remain adequate safeguards.

                                                                                                                  Page 75
            Introduction                   Fast, Flood Buyout Coordinator, for            Alexandria/Clark County
                                           Jefferson City, MO. January 25, 1999.
1  Darryl W. Levings, “Among KC            17 Economic Development Administra-        1 “After Action Report, 29 October,
Floods, This One Ranks No. 4,” Trial by    tion (EDA) Grants and the National         Mississippi and Missouri River Flood
Water, Special Supplement to the Kansas    Flood Insurance Section 1362 Flood         Duty 4 July to 5 October, 1993.”
City Star, September, 1993, pp. 29 and     Damaged Property Purchase Program.         Memorandum for NGB-ARO-OM, Re-
31.                                                                                   port as of 8 July, 1993. Missouri National
                                           18Sharing the Challenge: Floodplain        Guard Headquarters, Skelton Training
2  Sharing the Challenge: Floodplain       Management into the 21st Century, p. 23.   Site, Jefferson City, MO.
Management into the 21st Century,
Report of the Interagency Floodplain       19 “Out of Harms Way: Missouri’s Flood     2 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “A Look Back at
Management Review Committee to the         Buyout Program,” p. 4.                     1993,” The Media (Kahoka, MO.),
Administration Floodplain Management                                                  January 5, 1994.
Task Force, US Government Printing         20The Response, Recovery and Lessons
Office, Washington D.C., June 1994, p.     Learned from the Missouri Floods of        3 “After Action Report, 16 August 1993,
59.                                        1993 and 1994, Missouri State Emer-        Battery B, 1st Battalion, 128th Field
                                           gency Management Agency, 1994. p. 9.       Artillery, Missouri National Guard,” p. 1.
3 Timothy R. Roberts, The Great Flood of   “Out of the Mud, Some Lessons,” The        135th Military History Detachment,
93, Published by the Missouri National     Economists, May 27, 1995, p. 28.           Missouri National Guard, Ike Skelton
Guard, 1999. p.3.                                                                     Training Site, Jefferson City, MO.
                                           21 Sharing the Challenge: Flood Manage-
4 Ayers B. Drummond Jr. “What’s Left       ment into the 21st Century , p. 126.       4 Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein,
from the Great Flood of 93,” The New                                                  “Missouri Community Survives,” St.
York Times, (August 10, 1993).             22Sharing the Challenge: Floodplain        Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, MO.),
                                           Management into the 21st Century, p. 7.    November 27, 1993. The actual popula-
5 “Economist Questions Levee Study,”                                                  tion of Alexandria is open to question,
Columbia Daily Tribune, October 22,        23 Personal communication with Destin      and ranges from a low of 390 to a high of
1993, and “Bond Continues to Push to       Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,    500. The 390 number is the population in
Expand Levee Repairs,” Columbia Daily      Missouri SEMA, January 22, 1999.           July 1993, according to Mayor Bob
Tribune, October 23, 1993.                                                            Davis.
                                           24The Response, Recovery and Lessons
6 Sue Schneider and Kate Kline, “Out of    Learned from the Missouri Floods of        5 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Flood Relief
Harms Way: Missouri’s Flood Buyout         1993 and 1994, p. 17.                      Committees Oversee Distribution and
Program,” Missouri State Emergency                                                    Spending of Donated Funds,” The
Management Agency (SEMA), 1996,            25   “Out of Harms Way,” pp. 5- 6.         Media, November 3, 1993.
p.1. Sharing the Challenge: Floodplain
Management into the 21st Century, p. 16.   26 “Remembering and Recovering from        6 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Flood Waters
“Flood-Policy Review Just Beginning,”      the Great Flood of ‘93,” Section D,        Recede, Alexandria Residents Return,”
Post Dispatch, October 24, 1993.           Columbia Daily Tribune, August 9,          The Media, August 11, 1993.
7“Out of Harms Way: Missouri’s Flood                                                  7 “Water Service Restored in Alexan-
Buyout Program,” p. 6.                     27   “Out of Harms Way,” p. 6.             dria,” Quincy Herald Wing (Quincy,
                                                                                      IL.), June 15, 1994.
8Weather Data Service, US Army Corps       28“City of Neosho, Missouri: Summary
of Engineers.                              Report to Missouri’s SEMA on CDBG,         8 “City of Alexandria to Hold Meeting
                                           FEMA, and NARCS Grants to Buy              Concerning Buyout,” The Media,
9   “Out of Harms Way,” pp. 1-2.           Property,” November 1998. “Out of the      November 10, 1993.
                                           Mud, Some Lessons,” The Economists,
10 “Waterlogged Roads Disintegrate,”       May 27, 1995, p. 28.                       9  Shelly Chapman, “Governmental &
Kansas City Star, August 5, 1993.                                                     Agency Representatives Answer Ques-
                                           29The Response, Recovery and Lessons       tions Concerning Buy-Out & Delays,”
11  “Flood Raises Road Repair Ques-        Learned from the Missouri Floods of        The Media, November 10, 1993.
tions,” Columbia Daily Tribune, Novem-     1993 and 1994, p. 17-18.
ber 15, 1993.                                                                         10 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Volkmer &
                                           30 “Remembering and Recovering from        Panelists Explain Buyout & Other
12   “Out of Harms Way,” p. 1.             the Great Flood of ‘93,” Section D, The    Programs to Help Flood Victims,” The
                                           Columbia Missourian, August 9, 1998.       Media, December 29, 1993.
13Public Law 93-288: as amended by
Public Law 100-707.                        31The Response, Recovery and Lessons       11   Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Buyout
                                           Learned from the Missouri Floods of        Application Made to State for Alexandria
14   “Out of Harms Way,” p. 7.             1993 and 1994, p. 18.                      and Clark County,” The Media, February
                                                                                      2, 1994.
15The Response, Recovery and Lessons       32   “Out of Harms Way,” p. 3.
Learned from the Missouri Floods of                                                   12 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Decision
1993 and 1994, Missouri State Emer-        33   Paul Hamper, “Some Survivors          Needed from Alexandria Residents Soon
gency Management Agency, p. 17.            Rebuild, Others Moved on, But the Flood    to Establish Buyout Funding,” The
                                           of ‘93 Changes Lives Forever,” St. Louis   Media, February 9, 1994.
16   Personal communication with Melva     Post Dispatch, August 24, 1998.

Page 76
13 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Buy-Out                                                        Post Dispatch, Metro Post South, May 6,
Applications Made to State For Alexan-
                                                           Arnold                       1996.
dria and Clark County,” The Media,
February 2, 1994.                           1 Robert I. Koenig, “Uncle Sam’s Right      16 Schneider and Klise, “Out of Harms
                                            Hand. . .,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News   Way: Missouri’s Flood Buyout Pro-
14 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Decision           Analysis, September 4, 1994. From 1980      gram,” p. 7.
Needed From Alexandria Residents            to 1994, only 4,000 properties had been
Soon to Establish Buyout Funding,” The      acquired under this earlier buyout          17 “State Allocates $1.3 Million For
Media, February 9, 1994.                    program throughout the whole nation.        Floodplain Buyouts Here,” St. Louis Post
                                                                                        Dispatch, Metro Post South, August 28,
15  “Alexandria to get $1.1 Million,        2  Personal communication with Eric         1995.
County to get $1 Million in Federal and     Knoll, Arnold City Administrator, May
State Buyout,” The Media, February 23,      25, 1999.                                   18 Personal communication with Destin
1994, and Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Gover-                                                  Frost, Hazard Mitigation Officer, Mis-
nor Approves Clark County Flood             3 Mike Schlinkmann, “Flood Meeting          souri State Emergency Management
Buyout Request,” The Media, March 23,       Puts City on the Map, I Guess,” St. Louis   Agency (SEMA), May 4, 1999.
1994.                                       Post Dispatch, Metro Post South, July 22,
                                            1993.                                       19 Sheri L. Gaddy, “Council Agrees To
16   Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “City of                                                      Pay For Relocation,” St. Louis Post
Alexandria Establishes Buyout Criteria      4 “Many Communities Gear Up For The         Dispatch, Metro Post South, August 15,
following Meeting with CDBG Offi-           Next Wave Of Flooding,” St. Louis Post      1994, and a personal communication
cial,” The Media, April 13, 1994.           Dispatch, News, July 28, 1993.              with Eric Knoll, May 26, 1999.

17 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “Federal and        5 “A Few Enjoy Waters Ebb: Others Gird      20Personal communication with Eric
State Representatives Meet with Local       For The New Crest,” St. Louis Post          Knoll, May 26, 1999.
Officials to Discuss Details of flood       Dispatch, News, August 1, 1993, and The
Buyout Program,” The Media, June 1,         Flood In Perspective, St. Louis Post        21Personal communication with Eric
1994.                                       Dispatch, News, August 2, 1993.             Knoll, May 25, 1999.

18 Hazel Bledsoe Smith, “County Begins      6 “Water Falls A Bit In Some Towns, But
Acceptance of Flood Buyout Applica-         Progress Is Slow,” St. Louis Post                  Buchanan County
tions,” The Media, May 25, 1994.            Dispatch, News, August 3, 1993.

19 A number of articles in The Media give   7“Alton Finds Gift Tucked In Truck Of       1 Scott Canon, “Flood victims still
the details: “Properties Purchased Under    Bottled Water,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,    weather uncertain times: Many in
Federal Buyout Program in Alexandria,       News, July 29, 1993.                        Rushville are waiting to help get their
Other Buyout Agreements Nearly Com-                                                     lives back on track,” Kansas City Star,
pleted,” February 1, 1995; “Alexandria      8 Leo Fitmaurice, “We’re Hurt Emotion-      National/World, March 1, 1994. Also
Council Discusses Buyout and Demoli-        ally, Says Family Enduring Flood            two articles by Pat Spencer, reporter for
tion,” February 8, 1995; and “Final Phase   Damage,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,           the Buchanan County News (Fawcett):
of Federal Flood Buyout Program to          News, August 5, 1993.                       “Battling The Flood Waters: Recovery
Begin soon in Alexandria,” September                                                    Begins in Agency; Sugar Lake Residents
27, 1995.                                   9   “Clearing Floodplains House By          Waiting For Waters to Recede,” July 15,
                                            House,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, Edito-     1993, and “Flood Strikes Agency Again,
20 Personal communication with Mayor        rial, February 8, 1994.                     South Side Evacuates,” July 29, 1993.
Robert Davis of Alexandria, Mayor Jerry
Johnson of Mt. Airy, MD, and Neil           10 Personal communication with Eric         2 Pat Spencer, “Battling the Flood
Shoemaker of Croton, OH.                    Knoll, May 25, 1999.                        Waters.”

21  Personal interview with Captain         11 Terry Ganey, “Buyout Money OK’d          3 Pat Spencer, “Flood Waters Hit Weary
Walton Westbrook, Commander of              For Flooded Areas,” St. Louis Post          Residents Again,” Buchanan County
Battery B, 1st Battalion, 128th Field       Dispatch, News, January 25, 1994.           News, September 30, 1993, and a caption
Artillery, Missouri Army National Guard,                                                to a photo, in the Buchanan County
January 7, 1996.                            12 Personal communication with Eric         News, September 9, 1993.
                                            Knoll, May 25, 1999.
22 Personal interview with Robert Davis,                                                4 Pat Spencer, “Meeting is Packed as
April 19, 1999.                             13 Tim O’Neil, “River Gets 20 Houses        Buyout Interest Grows,” Buchanan
                                            Hit in 93,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,        County News, October 7, 1993.
23 Personal interview with Robert Davis,    News, April 16, 1994.
April 19, 1999.                                                                         5 Mike Jones, “2 counties interested in
                                            14  “At A Glance,” City of Arnold,          buyouts,” St. Joseph News/Press (St.
24   Personal interview with David          Disaster 0995, Residential Acquisition      Joseph), November 11, 1993.
Davison, Director of the Northeast          Project, State Emergency Management
Missouri Regional Planning Commis-          Agency, Jefferson City, MO. April 15,       6 Pat Spencer, “Extension for Flood
sion, April 19, 1999.                       1997.                                       Assistance Slows Grant Application
                                                                                        Process,” Buchanan County News, Feb-
                                            15 Nicholas C. Wishart, “Flood Buyout       ruary 3, 1994.
                                            Pleases Couple: When The Water Came
                                            Up, We Said We’ve Had It,” St. Louis

                                                                                                                       Page 77
7  “Flood buyout hearing to be held in        5 “500-year floods don’t have calendar or   Interfaith Disaster Response Network,
Agency,” St. Joseph News Press, Metro         clock to follow,” Southeast Missourian      June 16, 1999. The group had done
Region, June 30, 1994, and “Informa-          (Cape Girardeau, Missouri), Editorial,      similar work in Pattonsburg and
tional Meeting Set On Sugar Lake Buy-         May 26, 1995, and Tim O’Neil, “Crests       Rhineland.
Out,” Buchanan County News, August            May Go Higher Upriver,” St. Louis Post
25, 1994.                                     Dispatch, News, May 26, 1995.               20 Southeast Missourian, Editorial, May
                                                                                          2, 1996.
8Pat Spencer, “Buyout Funds Approved          6 Martha Shrik, “Sandbaggers, Boaters
For Sugar Lake Residents,” Buchanan           Are Busy This Weekend. Some Work,           21Mark Bliss, “Buyout plan extended to
County News, July 7, 1994.                    Some Play Through The Holiday               north Cape,” Southeast Missourian,
                                              Rainstorms,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,       September 7, 1996.
9 Pat Spencer, “More Steps Taken              May 28, 1995.
Toward Finalizing Buyout Plans,”                                                          22 Scott Moyers, “City to make all buyout
Buchanan County News, September 1,            7 Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood            offers by Jan.1,” Southeast Missourian,
1994.                                         Buyout Program That Worked. Across          October 6, 1996.
                                              Region Many Low-Lying Communities
10 Steve Everly, “Sugar Lake buyouts          Are Now Ghost Towns Of Abandoned            23 Peggy Scott, “Collaboration called key
offered: 34 property owners have until        Homes,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,      for flood buyout,” Southeast Missourian,
Jan. 1 to accept flood relief,” Kansas City   May 28, 1995.                               August 9, 1998.
Star, Metropolitan Section, December
19, 1994.                                     8 Kathleen Best, “12 Missouri Counties
                                              To Get Federal Flood Aid,” St. Louis                     Cedar City
11 Gary Chilcote, “Council announces 30       Post Dispatch, News, June 3, 1995, and
flood buyouts,” St. Joseph News/Press:        Bill Heltland (S.E. Missouri News
Metro Region, February 14, 1995.              Service), “Of 24 counties eligible for      1 Quote from Allen Garner, Jefferson
                                              assistance, only 1,240 people have          City’s city attorney, in “Out of Harm’s
12“At A Glance,” Buchanan County 404          registered,” Daily Dunklin Democrat,        Way,” p. 5.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Project, State        (Kennett, Missouri), June 20, 1995.
Emergency Management Agency,                                                              2 John Egan, “ABB manager denies
(SEMA), Jefferson City, Missouri, April,      9  Personal communication with Ken          shutdown rumors,” Jefferson City Post
1996.                                         Eftink, June 14, 1999.                      Tribune (Jefferson City, Missouri), July
                                                                                          30, 1993.
13  Scott Canon, “Flood victims still         10 Mark Bliss, “Cape Girardeau will seek
weather uncertain times: Many in              flood buyout funds after all,” Southeast    3 “Final Report,” Missouri SEMA,
Rushville are waiting for help to get their   Missourian, July 23, 1995.                  January 10, 1997.
lives back on track,” Kansas City Star,
National/World Section, March 1, 1994.        11 Mark Bliss, “Cape seeks money for        4Brent Johnson, “The knockout blow,”
                                              flood buyout,” Southeast Missourian,        The Columbia Missourian (Columbia),
14Pat Spencer, “Final Work Completed          August 8, 1995.                             August 9, 1998.
on Rushville Levee,” Buchanan County
News, January 26, 1995.                       12Marc Powers, “Cape gets state nod for     5 Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood
                                              buyout,” Southeast Missourian, October      Buyout Program That Worked,” St.
15Pat Spencer, “Sugar Lake Property           17, 1995, and Marc Powers, “Govern-         Louis Post Dispatch, News, May 28,
Owners Finish Buyout,” Buchanan               ment OKs flood buyouts,” Daily Dunklin      1995.
County News, January 12, 1995.                Democrat, November 9, 1995.
                                                                                          6 “State Policy for Flood Mitigation
                                              13 Bill Heitland, “Meadowbrook wants        Projects,” State Administration Plan for
        Cape Girardeau                        buyout, not sewer,” Southeast Missou-       SEMA, p. 10. Also Personal communica-
                                              rian, July 7, 1995.                         tion with Melva Fast, January 25, 1999.

1 Virginia Baldwin and Tim O’Neil, “Hot       14Marc Powers, “Cape gets state nod for     7 Personal communication with Melva
Topics: Insurance, The Pros And Cons          buyout.”                                    Fast, January 25, 1999.
Of Buyouts,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
News, August 27, 1993.                        15 “Briefs, Flood Buyout,” St. Louis Post   8 “Final Performance Report,” Missouri
                                              Dispatch, News, November 10, 1995.          SEMA, January 10, 1997, p. 2.
2 Tim Poor, “Crest Is Gone For Good.
Water Drops A Foot Here In 24 Hours,”         16 Marc Powers, “Flood buyout plan          9   “Out of Harm’s Way,” p. 5.
St. Louis Post Dispatch, News, August 9,      outlined,” Southeast Missourian, De-
1993.                                         cember 22, 1995.                            10 “The knockout blow,” Columbia
                                                                                          Missourian, August 9, 1998.
3 High and Mighty: The Flood of ‘93,          17  Personal communication with Ken
published by the St. Louis Post Dispatch,     Eftink, June 14, 1999.                      11Personal communication with Melva
1993, p. 10.                                                                              Fast, January 25, 1999.
                                              18  Peggy Scott, “Headed for higher
4  Personal communication with Ken            ground,” Southeast Missourian, August       12 Personal communication with both
Eftink, Development Services Coordina-        9, 1998.                                    Sally Sprague, Coordinator of the
tor for Cape Girardeau, June 14, 1999.                                                    Rendezvous Festival and Harry Thomp-
                                              19Personal communication with Linda         son, January 22, 1999.
                                              Reed Brown, Associate Director of

Page 78
13 Personal Communication with Terry        13“Briefs: Missouri Flood Buyouts,” St.      monitors reserves, leak,” August 17,
Rackers, President of Jefferson City        Louis Post Dispatch. October 17, 1995,       1993, “City damage widespread,” Au-
Flying Service, January 22, 1999.           “Cape gets state nod for flood buyout,”      gust 24, 1993, and “Flash flood of ‘93
                                            Chaffee Scott County Signal: News            recalled,” August 12, 1994. Additional
                                            Digest, October 22, 1995, and “Briefs:       information came from City Administra-
            Commerce                        Flood Buyout,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,      tor Molly McGovern and town resident
                                            News, November 10, 1995.                     Kevin Bennett (interviewed on February
1 Laura Johnston, “Flood buyouts in         14 “Government OKs flood buyouts in
Commerce commence; not everybody            Cape, Commerce,” Chaffee Scott County        7 Brad Fischer, “Power of flood blows
happy; government offers considered         Signal. News Digest, November 12, 1995.      out house,” Daily Standard, August 16,
low,” Chaffee Scott County Signal                                                        1993.
(Chaffee), February 26, 1996.               15 Laura Johnston, “Officials open office
                                            to manage flood buyout plan: About 20        8 Brad Fischer, “Fire Chief Bill Stewart
2 Ron Eifert, “Water Overtakes Com-         property owners have applied for the         discusses emergency plans with FEMA,”
merce,” Scott County News, (Chaffee),       program,” Southeast Missourian, No-          Daily Standard, August 13, 1993.
July 15, 1993, and Mark Bliss, “Com-        vember 30, 1995.
merce seeks buyout: Scott County town                                                    9 Gene Hanson, “Aid packages ex-
applies for $1.7 million,” Southeast        16 Personal communication with Destin        plained,” Daily Standard, August 19,
Missourian, Cape Girardeau, August 11,      Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,      1993.
1995.                                       Missouri Emergency Management
                                            Agency, (SEMA), June 29, 1999.               10 Gene Hanson, “Downtown flooded
3 Also “Flood waters down, Commerce                                                      again,” Daily Standard, September 22,
cleaning up,” Scott County News,            17   May 5, 1996.                            1993.
September 9, 1993.
                                            18 Laura Johnston, “Commerce flood           11 “At a Glance,” Final Report of the 404
4 Cathryn Maya, “Commerce residents         buyout program ended today,” Chaffee         Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Resi-
debate FEMA buyout,” Scott County           Scott County Signal, May 5, 1996.            dential Buyout, Missouri Emergency
News, August 5, 1993.                                                                    Management Agency (SEMA), revised
                                            19  Scott Moyers, “Commerce treading         January 13, 1998, p. 2.
5  Cathryn Maya, “Commerce slowly           water after buyout; Flood buyout leaves
rebuilding, awaits the spring,” Chaffee     bitter taste for some,” Southeast Missou-    12Personal communication with Molly
Scott County Signal, January 20, 1994.      rian, November 24, 1996.                     McGovern, February 9, 1999.
6“Commerce mayor hopes for buyout,”         20  Laura Johnston, “41.5 foot crest         13 Nicole Raulie, “Flood buyout proce-
Chaffee Scott County Signal, News           expected here: Commerce residents            dure is explained” Daily Standard,
Digest, June 18, 1995.                      battle river one more time,” Southeast       August 8, 1994.
                                            Missourian, May 1, 1996.
7 “500-year floods don’t have calendar or                                                14 Gene Hanson, “More flood buyout
clock to follow,” Southeast Missourian,                                                  funding is sought,” Daily Standard,
Editorial, May 26, 1995.                             Excelsior Springs                   August 16, 1993.

8 Martha Shrik, “Sandbaggers, Boaters                                                    15  See for instance photos in the
Are Busy This Weekend. Some Work,           1  Gene Hanson, “Flash flood of 93           September 8th, September 23rd, October
Some Play Through The Holiday               recalled,” Daily Standard, (Excelsior        12th, 1994 issue of the Daily Standard, as
Rainstorms,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,       Springs) August 12, 1994.                    well as articles in the January 16th and
News, May 28, 1995.                                                                      19th, 1995 issues.
                                            2 Personal communication with Molly
9  Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood           McGovern, Excelsior Springs City Ad-         16 Personal Communication with Molly
Buyout Program That Worked. Across          ministrator, February 9, 1999.               McGovern, February 9, 1999. Also:
Region, Many Low—Lying Communi-                                                          “Excelsior Springs, Missouri: 1998 Flash
ties Are Now Ghost Towns of Aban-           3 Gene Hanson, “City crews monitor           Flooding of Little Concern to Residential
doned Homes,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,      water levels,” Daily Standard, July 29,      Property Owners,” Summary Published
News, May 28, 1995.                         1993, and “Flood hits close to Excelsior,”   by Missouri Emergency Management
                                            July 30, 1993.                               Agency, Jefferson City, MO. 1998.
10 Mark Bliss, “Commerce seeks buyout;
Scott County river town applies for $1.7    4 Personal communication,          Molly
million,” Southeast Missourian, August      McGovern, February 9, 1999.                               Hannibal
11, 1995.
                                            5 Janis Kincaid, “Flood called worst
11 Tim ONeil, “Public Costs Plummet for     ever,” Daily Standard, August 13, 1993.      1 “Hannibal’s worst floods,” Hannibal
1995 Floods. Buyout Of Property                                                          Courier-Post (Hannibal), July 1993,
Destroyed In ‘93 Gets Credit For            6 The damage summary is taken from the       1993.
Savings,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,          following articles in the Daily Standard,
January 26, 1996.                           Janis Kincaid, “Downtown flooded,”           2 J. Hurley Hagood and Roberta Hagood,
                                            August 12, 1993, “Flood called worst         Hannibal Flood ‘93, published by
12 Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood           ever,” August 13, 1993, and “Lower level     Hannibal Courier-Post, Hannibal, Mis-
Buyout Program That Worked,” St.            damage extensive,” August 17, 1993.          souri, 1994. pp. 3-5.
Louis Post Dispatch, News, May 28,          Also articles by Gene Hanson, “City

                                                                                                                         Page 79
3   Hagood and Hagood, p. 28.                Hartsburg / Boone County                     16 R.C. Adams, “Experience helps towns
                                                                                          fight a rampaging river,” Ashland Boone
4  Gil Stuekel, “Corps: Levee paid for                                                    County Journal, May 25, 1995.
itself, and then some,” Hannibal Courier-    1 Articles by Chuck Geary in the Ashland
Post, July 20, 1993. The statistics were     Boone County Journal (Ashland), “Wa-
quoted by Doyle W. McCully, deputy           ter tops levees in south county,” July 8,                 Hermann
district engineer, Army Corps of Engi-       1993, and “Levees give way; river wins
neers.                                       again,” July 15, 1993. Also Mike
                                             Rodemeyer, “The 1993 flood: A story of       1 Personal communication with Dolores
5   Hagood and Hagood, pp. 16-17.            heartbreak and loss,” Ashland Boone          Grannemann, Hermann City Clerk and
                                             County Journal, July 22, 1993.               Acting City Administrator, February 9,
6   Hagood and Hagood, p. 24.                                                             1999.
                                             2 “The flood of 93: it ain’t over till its
7 Martha Parsons, Sny breaks: 45,000         over,” Ashland Boone County Journal,         2 Don Kruse, “River reaches record
acres flooded, Hannibal Courier-Post,        July 29, 1993. Also Mike Rodemeyer,          36.98,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier
July 26, 1993.                               “The 1993 flood: A story of heartbreak       (Hermann), August 3, 1993, “Hermann
                                             and loss,” Ashland Boone County              schools remain closed due to high water,”
8   Hagood and Hagood, p. 43.                Journal, July 22, 1993.                      September 28, 1993, and “River could
                                                                                          fall below flood stage Wednesday, July
9 “Rhineland is approved for relocation,”    3 Photo in the August 12, 1993 issue of      5, 1995.”
Hermann Advertiser Courier (Hermann),        the Ashland Boone County Journal.
December 14, 1993. The Hermann                                                            3 “City and county receive FEMA flood
Advertiser Courier also carried stories on   4 Caption on a photo in the Ashland          payments,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier,
the Hannibal buyout project.                 Boone County Journal, August 19, 1993.       November 23, 1993.
10   Hagood and Hagood, p. 137.              5 Chuck Geary “FEMA regulations              4 Local Government Leaders Briefed on
                                             stagger Hartsburg,” Ashland Boone            Relief Programs, Hermann Advertiser-
11  Brien Murphy, “City: Many flood          County Journal, September 23, 1993.          Courier, September 7, 1993.
plain homes may be uninhabitable,”
Hannibal Courier-Post, July 22, 1993,        6 Bill Foreman, “County short on money       5 Don Kruse, “Rhineland Close to
and Bev Dar. “FEMA changes buyout            to match buyouts,” Columbia Daily            Approval of Relocation,” Hermann
rules,” Hannibal Courier-Post, Septem-       Tribune , November 30, 1993.                 Advertiser-Courier, November 16, 1993.
ber 3, 1993.                                                                              “City awarded nearly half-million
                                             7 “Meeting in Hartsburg Jan. 5 will          dollars for buyout program,” Hermann
12 Brien Murphy, “City gets $1.5 million     discuss buyout program,” Ashland Boone       Advertiser-Courier, July 5, 1994.
flood buyout grant,” Hannibal Courier-       County Journal, December 30, 1993.
Post, December 10, 1993.                                                                  6 Personal communication with Dolores
                                             8 “Cities, county decide use of buyout       Grannemann, February 9, 1999.
13  “Rhineland is approved for reloca-       land,” Ashland Boone County Journal,
tion,” Hermann Advertiser Courier,           January 13, 1994.                            7 “Hermann submits $2.2 million
December 14, 1993.                                                                        application for buyout program,”
                                             9 Karen Miller, “The County Line:            Hermann Advertiser-Courier, January
14“City to receive additional funding to     Buyout applications,” Ashland Boone          25, 1994.
buy 111 flood-damaged homes,” Hannibal       County Journal, January 20, 1994.
Courier-Post, April 5, 1993.                                                              8 “Hermann’s buyout request improves
                                             10 Karen Miller, “The County Line: Time      with new funding,” Hermann Advertiser-
15  Martha Parsons, “Flood Buyout            and change for the commission.”              Courier, June 7, 1994.
program expands,” Hannibal Courier-
Post, April 22, 1994.                        11 Lisa Yorkgitis, “Hartsburg area homes     9 “City’s flood assistance grants given
                                             recommended for buyout,” Jefferson           approval,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier,
16 Martha Parsons, “First federal funds to   City News Tribune, February 15, 1994.        August 9, 1994, and “City awarded
flood families,” Hannibal Courier-Post,                                                   nearly half-million dollars for buyout
May 20, 1994.                                12 Two articles in the Ashland Boone         program,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier,
                                             County Journal, Nancy Grant and Shirley      July 5, 1994.
17 “At a Glance,” City of Hannibal           Thomas, “Hartsburg Hot Line,” June 16,
Disaster 0995; FEMA 404 Residential          1994, and Karen Miller, “The County          10 “Hermann is approved for buyout,”
Acquisition Project, June 26, 1997.          Line: Approval for buy-out, July 7,          Hermann Advertiser-Courier, October
                                             1994.”                                       19, 1994.
18 Personal conversation with John
Wheeler, Building Inspector for Hannibal,    13Nancy Grant and Shirley Thomas,            11 “River here still not below flood stage;
Missouri, April 30, 1999.                    “Hartsburg Hot Line,” Ashland Boone          it could be Friday,” Hermann Advertiser-
                                             County Journal.                              Courier, July 12, 1995.
19  Personal communication with Bill
Lankford, Director of Parks and Recre-       14 Alson Sharp, “Federal aid to pour into    12 “Residential demolition underway,”
ation, Hannibal, Missouri, April 30,         local flooded areas,” June 9, 1995.          Hermann Advertiser-Courier, October 4,
1999.                                                                                     1995.
                                             15Nancy Grant and Shirley Thomas,
                                             “Hartsburg Hot Lline,” Ashland Boone         13Personal communication with Dolores
                                             County Journal, May 18, 1995.                Grannemann, February 9, 1999.

Page 80
14 “Historic house discovered in demoli-     8 Tim Rowden, “Flood and red tape:            21 Tim O’Neil, “Great, Big Flash Flood
tion of fifth street,” Hermann Advertiser-   Meeting may help local officials,” Festus     Tops Levee: Missouri River Brings
Courier, October 18, 1995.                   Weekly News Democrat, September 10,           Trouble From Near KC to St. Charles,”
                                             1993.                                         St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 20, 1995.
15Personal communication with Dolores
Grannemann, February 9, 1999.                9 Kathleen Best, “One Town Followed           22Tim O’Neil, “2 Rivers May Drop In
                                             The Rules—And Won,” St Louis Post             About A Month; But it Depends On NO
                                             Dispatch, November 21, 1993, also             More Downpours,” St. Louis Post
       Jefferson County                      personal communication with Eric Knoll,       Dispatch, News, June 1, 1995.
                                             May 25, 1999.
                                                                                           23 “State Allocated $1.3 Million For
1 Although Arnold is in Jefferson County,    10  Theresa Tighe and Jo Mannies,             Floodplain Buyout Here,” St. Louis Post
that city’s buyout program was unique,       “Facing Still Another Crisis, Federal         Dispatch, Metro Post South, August 28,
and its story is recorded separately.        Rescue Could Be Slow, Meager,” St.            1995. This grant was divided between
                                             Louis Post Dispatch, News, September          Arnold ($275,000), Valley Park (100,000)
2 In the St. Louis Post Dispatch, News and   20, 1993.                                     and Jefferson County ($925,000).
in Metro Post South: Linda Eardley,
“Flood Widens Reach, Stretches South,”       11 Terry Ganey, “Buyout Money OK’d            24  “At A Glance,” Jefferson County
July 3, 1993, and William Adam and Al        For Flooded Areas,” St. Louis Post            FEMA-HMGP 404 Residential Acquisi-
Stamborski, “Sandbag Soldiers Fight On:      Dispatch, News, January 25, 1994, and         tion Project, State Emergency Manage-
Levee Fails in St. Charles County.” Also     “Clearing Flood Plains House by House,”       ment Agency, (SEMA), October 16,
see: Robert Steyer, “Doe Run Shuts Lead      St. Louis Post Dispatch, Editorial,           1997.
Smelter,” July 20, 1993, “A Few Enjoy        February 8, 1994.
Water’s Ebb: Others Gird For The New                                                       25 “At A Glance Reports,” published by
Crest,” August 1, 1993, and, “The Flood In   12 Jennifer Price, “Federal flood relief      State Emergency Management Agency,
Perspective,” Stephen Kirkland, “Jefferson   efforts are under way,” Festus Weekly         (SEMA): St. Charles County, Disaster
County Watches, Worries,” August 1,          News Democrat, November 5, 1993.              0995 Residential Acquisition Project,
1993, and August 2, 1993, In the Festus                                                    December 6, 1998; Jefferson County,
Weekly News Democrat (Festus), see:          13Roy Malone, “$11 Million Sought In          FEMA-HMGP 404, Residential Acquisi-
Tim Rowden, “High water mark ahead:          Federal Funds For Flood Buyout,” St.          tion Project, October 16, 1997; and St.
Worst flooding in years expected,” “Flood    Louis Post Dispatch, Metro Post South,        Louis County, Disaster 0995, Residential
veterans watch rising waters warily,” July   December 6, 1993.                             Acquisition Project, November 16, 1998.
9, 1993, and David Benson and Kathleen
Sullivan, “National Guardsmen are de-        14Thom Gross, “Families Full Of Praise
ployed in county,” July 16, 1993, Tim        For Flood Agencies’ Victims; We Were                  Lincoln County
Rowden, “Weather pattern shifts, but more    Treated With Respect,” St. Louis Post
flooding expected,” July 30, 1993.           Dispatch, News Analysis, December 16,
                                             1993.                                         1 Ralph Dummit, “Levee Watchers
3  Leo Fitzmaurice, “Officials Weigh                                                       Around Winfield Expecting Worst,”
Damage From Record Flooding,” St.            15  Tim Rowden, “County seeks $5              Nation/World, July 3, 1993, and Gregg
Louis Post Dispatch, Metro Post South,       million in flood buyouts,” Festus Courier     Ochoa, “Levees are holding their own
July 22, 1993, and Tim Rowden and            Journal, January 5, 1994.                     thanks to dry holiday weekend,” Troy
David Benson, “Officials: One eye on                                                       Free Press (Troy), May 31, 1995.
water, other on recovery,” Festus Weekly     16 Ron Malone, “Buyout Set On Flood-
News Democrat, July 23, 1993.                Damaged Properties,” St. Louis Post           2 Gregg Ochoa chronicled the flooding
                                             Dispatch, Metro Post South, March 14,         in: “County flooded; Winfield levee
4 Stephen Kirkland, “Jefferson County        1994. Faulkenberry’s quote is from this       bursts,” Troy Free Press, July 7, 1993,
Watches, Worries,” St. Louis Post            article.                                      “No relief for flood victims,” Troy Free
Dispatch, Metro Post South, August 1,                                                      Press, July 14, 1993, and “Flood of ‘93
1993.                                        17 “Meramec Reclaims More Land, River         Day by Day,” Newspaper insert pub-
                                             Falls; Missouri Tops Levees: More Rain        lished by the Lincoln County Journal
5  Carolyn Tuft and Roy Malone,              Feared,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,       (Troy), September 21, 1993.
“Jefferson County Relieved: We’re Win-       April 15, 1994, also Jennifer Price,
ning,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,        “Flooding not expected to reach ‘93           3 Gregg Ochoa, “2,700 parcels of land
August 3, 1993.                              levels,” Festus Weekly News Democrat,         were flooded in county,” Lincoln County
                                             April 15, 1994.                               Journal, September 7, 1993, and, Gregg
6 Tim Rowden, “Officials: don’t rush to                                                    Ochoa, “No relief for flood victims,”
remove sandbag levees,” Festus Weekly        18 Jennifer Price, “City to begin buyout of   Troy Free Press, July 14, 1993.
News Democrat, August 13, 1993.              flooded property,” Festus Weekly News
                                             Democrat, April 15, 1994.                     4 Gregg Ochoa, “Water down, some
7  Leo Fitmaurice, “Officials Weigh                                                        roads now open,” Troy Free Press,
Damage From Record Flooding,” St.            19 Jennifer Price, “Flooded property          August 11, 1993.
Louis Post Dispatch, Metro Post South,       buyout begins,” Festus Weekly News
July 22, 1993. The initial report in the     Democrat, December 30, 1994.                  5 Gregg Ochoa, “Flood fight rages on in
Post Dispatch mentioned a buyout for                                                       county; More than 400 seek.” Troy Free
mobile homes. However, the Post printed      20 Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood             Press, July 21, 1993.
a correction on July 26th, stating that      Buyout Program That Worked,” St.
Faulkenberry had specified “flood dam-       Louis Post Dispatch, May 28, 1995.            6 Gregg Ochoa, “Officials field questions
aged homes.” St. Louis Post Dispatch,                                                      on buy-outs and repairs,” Troy Free
Correction, July 26, 1993.                                                                 Press, August 25, 1993.

                                                                                                                          Page 81
7  Three articles by Gregg Ochoa,           Press, March 23, 1994, and “Aftermath:                   Neosho
“Volkmer bill awaits Clinton’s signa-       Government moves to purchase homes,”
ture,” Lincoln County Journal, Novem-       Lincoln County Journal, February 2,
ber 30, 1993, “Area officials to hold       1995.                                      1 Personal communication with Jim Cole,
workshops on flood programs: Buyouts                                                   City Manager, Neosho, Missouri, January
and other topics to be discussed” Troy      20 Gregg Ochoa, “County set to receive     26, 1999, and with Heidi Quinanes, Grant
Free Press, September 8, 1993, and          $3.4 million for buyouts,” Troy Free       Administrator, Neosho, Missouri, January
“Officials field questions on buyouts and   Press, March 23, 1994, and Gregg Ochoa,    25, 1999.
repairs,” Troy Free Press, August 25,       “Aftermath: Government moves to
1993.                                       purchase homes,” Lincoln County Jour-      2 Final Performance Report, Missouri
                                            nal, February 2, 1995.                     SEMA, February 25, 1999.
8 “Seminar to be held to discuss federal
flood relocation program,” Lincoln          21 Gregg Ochoa, “Request by Foley to       3 “State of Missouri Hazard Mitigation
County Journal, December 7, 1993.           relocate is rejected,” Lincoln County      Makes Sense,” p. 2.
                                            Journal, November 8, 1994.
9 Gregg Ochoa, “Buyout process begins                                                  4 Personal communication with Jim
for 1993 flood victims,” Lincoln County     22Gregg Ochoa, “Aftermath: Govern-         Cole, January 26, 1999.
Journal, June 14, 1994.                     ment moves to purchase homes,” Lincoln
                                            County Journal, February 7, 1995.          5 Final Report, SEMA, February 25,
10 Gregg Ochoa, “County set to receive                                                 1998.
$3.4 million for buyouts,” Troy Free        23 Gregg Ochoa, “Buyout marks end of
Press, March 23, 1994.                      painful ordeal,” Lincoln County Journal,   6 Personal communication with Jim
                                            August 2, 1994.                            Cole, Neosho City Manager, January 26,
11 Chuck Herron, “Getting out: Buyout                                                  1999.
program will help hundreds of Lincoln       24 Gregg Ochoa, “County flood insur-
County families find higher ground,”        ance is under fire,” Lincoln County        7 “State of Missouri: Hazard Mitigation
Hannibal Courier-Post, May 11, 1994,        Journal, November 7, 1995.                 Makes Sense,” p. 3.
and Gregg Ochoa, “Some interest
expressed in buyout of land: 83 residents   25 “State Group Honors Flood-Buyout        8 Personal Communication with Heidi
have asked to participate,” Lincoln         Program,” St. Louis Post Dispatch: St.     Quinanes, January 25, 1999.
County Journal, November 30, 1993, and      Charles Post, December 4, 1995.
Phil Linsalata, “Uncle Sam’s Left Hand.                                                9 Letter of Recommendation, November
. . ,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News        26  Tom Uhlenbrock, “Water Works           23, 1998.
Analysis, September 4, 1944.                Crews Raze, Recycle Homes Hit By
                                            Flood,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,
12   Two articles by Gregg Ochoa:           October 29, 1995.
“Buyout process begins for 1993 flood                                                             Pattsonburg
victims,” Lincoln County Journal, June      27 Personal communication with Steve
14, 1994, and “County working on plan       Etcher, Boonslick Regional Planning        1 Mike Jones, “Pattonsburg mapping
to buy flooded homes: Commission OK         Commission, May 28, 1999.                  move,” St. Joseph Opinion (St. Joseph),
sought on plan,” Lincoln County Journal,                                               November 13, 1993. Personal communi-
May 10, 1994.                               28 “At A Glance,” City of Winfield,        cation with Denise Stottlemeyer, Green
                                            Disaster 0995, Residential Acquisition     Hills Regional Planning Commission,
13 Gregg Ochoa, “Foley considering          Project, State Emergency Management        January 27, 1999.
moving the town to higher ground,”          Agency, SEMA, April 14, 1997.
Lincoln County Journal, June 21, 1994.                                                 2 Margaret Stafford, “Pattonsburg Re-
                                            29 John Sonderregger, “Residents Step      makes Itself After ‘93 Flood,” Missouri
14 “Rhineland is Approved for Reloca-       Back, Wait For The Water Evacuation        Monitor, August, 1998.
tion,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier, De-      Plans,” St Louis Post Dispatch, St.
cember 14, 1993.                            Charles Post, May 19, 1995, and Gregg      3 “Two floods in two weeks: too much,”
                                            Ochoa, “Levees are holding their own       Chillicothe      Constitution-Tribune
15Gregg Ochoa, “Foley considering           thanks to dry holiday weekend,” Troy       (Chillicothe), August 3, 1993, and photo
moving the town to higher ground.”          Free Press, May 31, 1995.                  caption from the Bethany Republican
                                                                                       Clipper (Bethany), July 28, 1993.
16 Personal communication with Steve        30 Gregg Ochoa, “Cuivre River swallows
Etcher, May 28, 1999.                       up ground,” Troy Free Press, April 13,     4 “Pattonsburg Remakes Itself After ‘93
                                            1994.                                      Flood,” Missouri Monitor, August 1998.
17  Jackie Hoeltge, “Winfield City
Council awards excavating contract for      31 Personal communication with Steve       5 “Pattonsburg’s options include buyout,
Highland Acres Subdivision,” Lincoln        Etcher, Boonslick Regional Develop-        relocation,” Gallatin North Missourian
County Journal, June 18, 1996.              ment Commission, May 28, 1999.             (Gallatin), November 3, 1993.
18 Personal communication with Steve        32 “No end predicted in county’s growth    6  “Dry future for Pattonsburg?” St.
Etcher, Boonslick Regional Planning         trend,” Lincoln County Journal, Febru-     Joseph Opinion, November 13, 1993.
Commission, May 28, 1999.                   ary 13, 1996.
                                                                                       7 Personal communication with Denise
19 Gregg Ochoa, “County set to receive      33“Officials warn of hazards,” Lincoln     Stottlemeyer, January 27, 1999.
$3.4 million for buyouts,” Troy Free        County Journal, February 6, 1996.

Page 82
8 “Final Performance Report,” Missouri      Perryville Sun Times, February 2, 1994.     Makes its Mark,” Hermann advertiser-
SEMA, November 13, 1998.                                                                Courier, August 24, and July 13,
                                            7“Gov. acts of buyout,” Perry County        respectively.
9 Personal communication with Denise        Republic-Monitor, February 15, 1994.
Stottlemeyer, January 27, 1999.                                                         8 “Volkmer Legislation Would Help
                                            8  “$296,352 block grant begins local       Area,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier,
10“Pattonsburg Remakes Itself After ‘93     buyout,” Perry County Republic-Moni-        October 26, 1993.
Flood,” Missouri Monitor, August 1998.      tor, March 10, 1994.
                                                                                        9 Don Kruse, “Rhineland Close to
11 “Two floods in two weeks: too much,”     9 “Perry county awaits state grant to buy   Approval of Relocation,” Hermann
Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, Au-       flood damaged properties,” Perryville       Advertiser-Courier, November 16, 1993.
gust 3, 1993.                               Sun Times, November 23, 1994, and “At
                                            A Glance,” Perry County FEMA-HMGP           10  Don Kruse, “Plan Would Relocate
12“Final Performance Report,” Missouri      404 Residential Acquisition Project,        Rhineland,” Hermann Advertiser-Cou-
SEMA, November 13, 1998.                    Missouri Emergency Management               rier, November 9, 1993.
                                            Agency (SEMA), May 9, 1997.
13 Personal communication with Denise                                                   11 “Rhineland is Approved for Reloca-
Stottlemeyer, January 27, 1999.             10 “Application and Grant Approval for      tion,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier, De-
                                            Perry County,” State Emergency Man-         cember 14, 1993.
14Personal communication with Mark          agement Agency (SEMA), no date.
Smith.                                      Personal communication with Destin          12“News Expected Soon of Rhineland’s
                                            Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,     Federal Grant,” Hermann Advertiser-
15“Pattonsburg Remakes Itself After ‘93     State Emergency Management Agency,          Courier, January 11, 1994.
Flood,” Missouri Monitor, August 1998.      June 29, 1999.
                                                                                        13“Rhineland Relocation Project,” video
16Personal communication with Mark          11 Personal communication with Brian        produced by Video Production Com-
Smith, January 27, 1999.                    Balsman, Southeast Missouri Regional        pany, Columbia, Missouri, 1998.
                                            Planning Commission, February 28,
17 Personal communication with Buck         1999.                                       14  “Rhineland Moves up the Hill,”
Katt, Assistant Director, Missouri State                                                Hermann Advertiser-Courier, September
Emergency Management Agency,                12“Application and Grant Approval for       20, 1994.
(SEMA), May 21, 1999.                       Perry County,” State Emergency Man-
                                            agement Agency (SEMA), no date.             15 Personal communication with Steve
                                                                                        Etcher, Director of the Boonslick
          Perry County                                                                  Regional Planning Commission, Febru-
                                                        Rhineland                       ary 5, 1999.

1 High and Mighty, The Flood of ‘93,                                                    16  “Missouri River Crests at 36.3,”
Published by the St. Louis Post Dispatch,   1 “First House in Rhineland is Scheduled    Hermann Advertiser-Courier, May 24,
1993, p. 58.                                to be Moved up the Hill on Wednesday,”      1995, and “River Falls Below Flood
                                            Hermann Advertiser-Courier (Hermann),       Stage After 88 Days Above 21 Feet,”
2 The summary of damage is from:            September 13, 1994, and “Rhineland          Hermann Advertiser-Courier, July 19,
“Levee breaks near Menfro,” The Perry       Begins to Move up the Hill,” Hermann        1995.
County Republic-Monitor (Perryville),       Advertiser-Courier, September 20, 1994.
July 27, 1993, Bob Scott, “Break in Bois                                                17“Downtown Rhineland Starts to Move
Brule Levee lets tidal wave into bottom     2  Don Kruse, “Plan Would Relocate          to New Location Across the KATY
lands,” Perryville Sun Times, July 28,      Rhineland,” Hermann Advertiser-Cou-         Trail,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier,
1993, and “Crop loss estimated at over      rier, November 9, 1993.                     September 13, 1995.
$13 million,” Perry County Republic-
Monitor, July 29, 1993.                     3 “Rhineland Begins Move up the Hill,”      18 Personal communication with Steve
                                            Hermann Advertiser-Courier, September       Etcher, Director of the Boonslick
3 “Contracts awarded on Bois Brule          20, 1994, and “Rhineland Hit Hard by        Regional Planning Commission, Febru-
repair,” Perry County Republic-Monitor,     Flood; Gasconade, Chamois and Berger        ary 5, 1999.
October 26, 1993.                           feel record crest,” Hermann Advertiser-
                                            Courier, August 3, 1993.                    19“Living It Up In Rhineland,” Hermann
4  Cecilia Fallert, “The Bottom Line:                                                   Advertiser-Courier, July 10, 1996.
Severely damaged homes may not be           4 “Area Rainfall is on Record Setting
rebuilt in the Bois Brule Bottoms,” Perry   Pace,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier, July
County Republic-Monitor, August 31,         6, 1993.                                          St. Charles County
                                            5 “Rhineland Hit Hard by Flood,”
5 Cecilia Fallert, “County seeks 1.7        Hermann Advertiser-Courier, August 3,       1 Timothy R. Roberts, “The Great Flood
million buyout,” Perry County Republic-     1993.                                       of 93” Missouri Army National Guard,
Monitor, February 3, 1994. Also: Art                                                    1999. p. 22.
Schwent, “Perry county proposes to buy      6 “Area Rainfall is on Record Setting
54 flood-damaged properties,” Perryville    Pace,” Hermann Advertiser-Courier, July     2 High and Mighty: The flood of 93,
Sun Times, February 2, 1994.                6, 1993.                                    published by the St. Louis Post Dispatch,
                                                                                        1993. p. 10.
6 Art Schwent, “Perry county proposes to    7 “Rhineland Mood is Upbeat: Church
buy 54 flood-damaged properties,”           Groups Help Clean, and The 1993 Flood

                                                                                                                       Page 83
3   High and Mighty, p. 23                  19 “Tally Begins on Damages as ‘93          7   “Governor examines damage.”
                                            Costs Keep Coming,” St. Louis Post
4   High and Mighty, p. 33.                 Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 24, 1995.   8 “Guard unit helps fight floodwater at
                                                                                        Ste. Genevieve,” July 23, 1993.
5 “Here’s What’s Happening, Town By         20 Ralph Dummit, “First of Flood-
Town,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,       Damaged Buyout Properties Razed,” St        9 “A View From Atop A Levee,”
July 11, 1993.                              Louis Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post,      Christian Science Monitor, July 21,
                                            August 17, 1994.                            1993.
6After Action Report, 1438th Engineer
Company (Assault Float Bridge, Ribbon)      21 Nordeka English, “Firefighters To        10  Timothy R. Roberts, Missouri Na-
Missouri Army National guard, 15            Torch Flood-Devastated Houses,” St.         tional Guard, pages 39-40. The descrip-
September 1993.                             Louis Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post,      tion of the levee system is from: “The
                                            September 21, 1994.                         Battle Zone,” Drawing of the levees
7   High and Mighty, p. 22-23.                                                          protecting Ste. Genevieve, appearing in
                                            22Al Stamborski, “Waiting for the End,      the Ste. Genevieve Herald, July 14, 1993.
8Jim Gallagher, “Levee Break Swamps         129 Flooded Mobile Homes to be
North St. Louis,” St. Louis Post            Razed,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, St.        11  Scott Charton, “Ste. Genevieve’s
Dispatch, News Analysis, August 2,          Charles Post, September 1, 1994.            Mayor Leads Careful War Against
1993, and “Tally Begins On Damages as                                                   Mississippi,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
93 Costs Keep Coming,” St. Louis Post       23 Tommy Robertson, “Turn Flooded           July 24, 1993, and “Its Us Against The
Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 24, 1995.   Land Into Park Areas, Firm Recom-           River: Ste. Genevieve Shows Its Grit,”
                                            mends,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, St.        St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 21, 1993.
9   High and Mighty, p. 23.                 Charles Post, April 27, 1995.
                                                                                        12 “Workers Are Pushing to Keep Levee
10 Ralph Dummit, “Floodplain Future         24 Tommy Robinson, “Flood Buyout            Tops Above Water,” St. Louis Post
May Be Decided Tonight,” St. Louis Post     Money Hearing Set For Tonight,” St.         Dispatch, News, July 27, 1993, and
Dispatch, St. Charles Post, November 23,    Louis Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post,      “Twelve hour shifts make long days for
1993, and Tommy Robertson, “More            February 6, 1996.                           Company C,” Standard Democrat,
Flood Aid Headed to Area,” St. Louis                                                    Sikeston, August 5, 1993. Reports on the
Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 26,    25 “Tally Begins on Damages as ‘93          amount of rock dumped on top of the
1994.                                       Costs Keep Coming,” St. Louis Post          levee vary with the reporter. Jean
                                            Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 24, 1995.   Rissover, project spokeswoman for the
11   “Clearing Floodplains House By                                                     National Guard used 400,000 tons, while
House,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, Edito-     26 Sue Schneider and Kate Klise, “Out of    Colonel Calvin Broughton, commanding
rial, February 8, 1994.                     Harm’s Way: Missouri’s Flood Buyout         National Guard troops in the area said the
                                            Program,” Missouri State Emergency          figure was 100,000 tons.
12Tommy Robertson, “More Flood Aid          Management Agency (SEMA), 1996, p.
Headed to Area,” St. Louis Post             5.                                          13  Margaret Gillman, “Ste. Genevieve
Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 26, 1994.                                               Draws Cautious Breath As Crest Passes,”
                                                                                        St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 7, 1993.
13Judith Vande Water, “Governor OK’s                 Ste. Genevieve
More Money To Clear Floodplain,” St.                                                    14 “Residents of small Missouri towns
Louis Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post,                                                  seek help in move to higher ground,”
February 16, 1994.                          1 Duane Meyer, The Heritage of              Hermann Advertiser Courier, November
                                            Missouri, State Publishing company, St.     23, 1993.
14 Ralph Dummit, “Farewell to Water-        Louis, Missouri, 1963, pp. 35-36, and
logged Home Flooded Out—Bailed out          “Missouri Floods,” Missouri Historical      15 Art Schwent, “Ste. Genevieve cuts
First Two St. Charles County                Review, July 21, 1993.                      flood buyout plan,” Perryville Sun
Homeowners Pick Up Checks,” St. Louis                                                   Times, December 1, 1993.
Post Dispatch, News, June 3, 1994.          2 “A View From Atop A Levee,” July 21,
                                            1993.                                       16Art Schwent, “Aldermen to seek more
15 Ralph Dummit, “First Buyouts In                                                      buyout funds,” Perryville Sun Times,
Floodplain Begin, Officials Told,” St.      3 Timothy R. Roberts, The Missouri          December 15, 1993.
Louis Post Dispatch, St. Charles Post,      National Guard: The Great Flood of 93,
May 13, 1994.                               Published by the Missouri National          17 Art Schwent, “Ste. Genevieve seeks
                                            Guard, 1999, p. 35.                         funds to buy properties in flood plain,”
16 Ralph Dummit, “Farewell to Water                                                     Perryville Sun Times, December 29,
Logged Home Flooded Out,” June 3,           4 “Governor examines damage,” South-        1993.
1994.                                       east Missourian (Cape Girardeau), July
                                            12, 1993, and “Twelve hour shifts make      18 Art Schwent, “Ste. Genevieve waits
17Ralph Dummit, “Flood Aid Missing,         long days for Company C,” Standard          for word on flood buyout application,”
Some Say. Mobile-Home Parks Are             Democrat (Sikeston), August 5, 1993.        Perryville Sun Times, February 2, 1994.
Getting Left Out,” St. Louis Post
Dispatch, St. Charles Post, July 5, 1994.   5 Terry Ganey and Robert L. Koenig,         19  Jim Ward, “Buyout Program Ap-
                                            “River Town May Get To Stop It’s            proved, But Money Not Available Yet,”
18Personal Communication with Destin        Waitin’ On The Levee Soon,” St. Louis       Ste. Genevieve Herald, April 27, 1994.
Frost, Hazard Mitigation Officer, Mis-      Post Dispatch, News, August 25, 1994.
souri State Emergency Management                                                        20  Missouri Emergency Management
Agency, May 4, 1999.                        6 “Governor examines damage,” South-        Agency Manual on Project Management,
                                            east Missourian, July 12, 1993.             p. 9.

Page 84
21 “City Gets Authorization For FEMA       38 Personal communication with Betty        8 Virgil Tipton, “2 Crests Pinch KC;
Buyout Funding,” Ste. Genevieve Her-       Seibel, June 2, 1999.                       Levees Hold: Residences, Businesses
ald, February 8, 1995.                                                                 Are Spared,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
                                           39  “More FEMA Buyouts Will Be              News, July 28, 1993.
22  Jim Ward, “Buyout Awaits Only          Offered” Ste. Genevieve Herald, Febru-
FEMA Approval,” Ste. Genevieve Her-        ary 21, 1996, and SHPO Comment in the       9 Terry Ganey, “Residents Flee St.
ald, February 2, 1994.                     Missouri Emergency Management               Joseph, MO.” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
                                           Agency Manual of Project Management,        News, July 27, 1993.
23“Residents Ask City To Speed Buyout      p. 12.
Process,” Ste. Genevieve Herald, July 6,                                               10  Jo Mannies, “Rivers Remain Near
1994.                                      40William Flannery, “Two Years After        Crest, On Attack: Resolute Sentry Digs
                                           Historic Flood, Ste. Gen. On Firm           In,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News, July
24 Two articles in the same issue:         Footing Again,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,    22, 1993.
“Buyout Contract Awarded to SEMO           Business Plus, May 8, 1995.
Regional Planning,” and “Buyout Pro-                                                   11  Lori Teresa Yearwood and Carolyn
gram Agreement Details Released,” Ste.     41 “$48 million levee planned in historic   Tuft, “Baggers Set Sights On 49 Feet,”
Genevieve Herald, July 27, 1994.           Ste. Genevieve,” Daily Capital News,        St. Louis Post Dispatch, News, August 1,
                                           (Jefferson City), May 10, 1995.             1993.
25“Buyout Candidates Get Information
on Program,” Ste. Genevieve Herald,                                                    12 Joe Holleman, Cynthia Todd, and
September 7, 1994.                                  St. Louis and                      Robert Duffy, “Evacuees Also Have
                                                                                       Rush Hour,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
26 “Aldermen Approve Buyout Policies,”            St. Louis County                     News, August 3, 1993.
Ste. Genevieve Herald, September 28,
1994.                                                                                  13 Daniel Browning, “Divers Try to
                                           1High and Mighty, The Flood of 93, p.       Stabilize Floating Propane Tanks,” St.
27“City Gets $441,000 For Relocation       13.                                         Louis Post Dispatch, News, August 2,
Assistance,” Ste. Genevieve Herald,                                                    1993.
November 8, 1994.                          2 “Among KC Floods, This One Ranks
                                           No. 4,” in Trial by Water, a special        14  Christine Bertelson, “Sandbagged
28 “Houses Deemed To Be Of Historic        supplement to the Kansas City Star,         South City Flees Propane Threat,” St.
Value Include Vertical Log, Queen Anne     September, 1993, p. 29.                     Louis Post Dispatch, News, July 31,
Style, and 1925 Bungalow,” Ste.                                                        1993, and “Water Falls A Bit In Some
Genevieve Herald, February 18, 1995.       3High and Mighty, The Flood of 93, p.       Towns, But Progress Is Slow,” St. Louis
                                           23.                                         Post Dispatch, News, August 3, 1993.
29 “First Buyout Checks Are Issued By
Ste. Gen. City,” Ste. Genevieve Herald,    4 Harry Levins, “What a Flood Stage         15 Joan Little, “River Des Peres Retreat:
February 29, 1995.                         Means,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,      It’s Trying To Go East,” St. Louis Post
                                           July 7, 1993, and Harry Levins, “What       Dispatch, News, August 3, 1993.
30“Ste. Genevieve Historic Train Depot     City’s Flood Wall Protects,” St. Louis
Could Be Yours,” Ste. Genevieve            Post Dispatch, News, July 27, 1993.         16 Stephen Kirkland, “Some South Siders
Herald, April 12, 1995.                                                                Can Go Home” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
                                           5 Virgil Tipton, “Rivers Remain Near        News, August 6, 1993.
31  Personal communication with Betty      Crest, On Attack: Venice Fisherman
Seibel, Ste. Genevieve City Clerk, June    Missing,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,    17 “Donations, Some Drops in Water
2, 1999.                                   July 22, 1993.                              Levels Boost Flood Victims,” St. Louis
                                                                                       Post Dispatch, News, July 22, 1993,
32 “DNR and City Purchase 3 More           6 Lane Beauchamp, “Six die inside cave;     “Towns Stockpile Water, Move Books,
Historic Properties,” Ste. Genevieve       one boy found alive,” in Trial By Water,    Man Pumps,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,
Herald, July 26, 1995.                     a special supplement to the Kansas City     News, July 24, 1993, and “Sandbags Are
                                           Star, September, 1993, p. 27, and Martha    Both Coming Down and Going Up,” St.
33 Personal communication with Betty       Shrink and Kim Bell, “Outing Turns Into     Louis Post Dispatch, News, July 31,
Seibel, June 2, 1999.                      A Disaster For Children,” St. Louis Post    1993.
                                           Dispatch, News, July 24, 1993.
34 Personal communication with Destin                                                  18  “Flood News Update,” Missouri
Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,    7   Tom Uhlenbrock and Christine            National Guard and State Emergency
Missouri Emergency Management              Bertelson, “City Workers Plug 60-Foot       Management Agency, Jefferson City
Agency, June 3, 1999.                      Hole Under Flood Wall For St. Louis,”       Missouri, July 18, 1993.
                                           St. Louis Post Dispatch, News, July 24,
35  Missouri Emergency Management          1993. Information on how the ring dike      19 “Emergency Operations Center Mes-
Agency Manual on Project Management,       works comes from a personal communi-        sage Log,” Missouri National Guard
pp. 10 through 12.                         cation on January 7, 1996, with Captain     Headquarters, Jefferson City, Missouri,
                                           Walter L. Westbrook, commander of           July 12, 1993, p. 7.
36“Mississippi Tops 1973 Flood Level,”     Battery B, 1st Battalion, 128th Field
Ste. Genevieve Herald, May 24, 1995.       Artillery, Missouri Army National Guard.    20“After Action Report of the 1137th
                                                                                       Military Police Company,” Missouri
37“The Way We Were,” Ste. Genevieve                                                    Army National Guard, August 11, 1993.
Herald, December 27, 1995.

                                                                                                                      Page 85
21 “Donations, Some Drops in Water          Are Now Ghost Towns of Abandoned              47 “Flood of ‘93’s legacy still being felt a
Levels Boost Flood Victims,” St. Louis      Homes,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, Section      year later,” St. Joseph News/Press, June
Post Dispatch, News, July 22, 1993, and     B, May 28, 1995.                              27, 1994.
“Outsiders Bring Aid; Home Towners
Just Keep Working,” St. Louis Post          34  Personal communication with Chris         48Tim O’Neil, “Flood Aid Won’t Match
Dispatch, News, July 25, 1993.              Seemayer, Brentwood City Administra-          ‘93,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News
                                            tor, May 21, 1999.                            Analysis, June 2, 1995.
22 “Many Communities Gear Up For
Next Wave of Flooding,” St. Louis Post      35 Carolyn Bower, “US Buyout of Homes         49 “Government Buyout Keeping Mis-
Dispatch, News, July 28, 1993, “A Few       Advances: Board Agrees To First Step          souri Flood Costs Down,” Jefferson City
Enjoy Waters Ebb; Others Gird For New       With Federal Flood Officials,” St. Louis      Post Dispatch, May 26, 1995.
Crest,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,      Post Dispatch, News, January 6, 1994,
August 1, 1993, and “Water Falls a Bit in   and “Pact Lines Up Buyout For Twelve
Some Towns, But Progress Is Slow,” St.      Homes,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News,                      St. Mary
Louis Post Dispatch, News, August 3,        January 13, 1994.
1993. Arthur Goldgaber, “Bellefontaine
Neighbors Aiming to Be First To             36 “At A Glance,’ City of Brentwood           1 “Application and Grant Approval for
Complete Buyout,” St. Louis Post            FEMA-HMGP 404 Residential Acquisi-            St. Mary, Missouri,” Missouri State
Dispatch, St. Charles Post, May 10, 1994.   tion Project Report, State Emergency          Emergency Management Agency
                                            Management Agency, Jefferson City,            (SEMA), Jefferson City, MO., 1994.
23Personal communication with Claire        MO. October 23, 1997. The number of
Pyre, Fenton City Clerk, May 21, 1999.      homes damaged is from a personal              2 Personal communication with JoAnn
                                            communication with Chris Seemayer,            Donze, City Clerk, St. Mary, Missouri,
24 Personal communication with Mark         May 21, 1999.                                 February 23, 1999.
Sartors, Public Works Director for
Fenton, Missouri, May 21, 1999.             37 Personal communication with Chris          3 Art Schwent, “St. Mary constructs
                                            Seemayer, May 21, 1999.                       levee,” Perryville Sun Times, (Perryville),
25 Linda Eardley, “Flood Buyouts At                                                       July 22, 1993.
Hand: New Grants Cover About 671            38 Personal communication with Mark
Buildings Damaged by Floods,” St.           Sartors, May 21, 1999.                        4 Art Schwent, “St. Mary plans to buy
Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis Region,                                                    flood damaged property,” Perryville Sun
February 27, 1993.                          39  At A Glance, “City of Fenton,”            Times, November 17, 1993.
                                            Disaster 0995, Residential Acquisition
26“Flood Aid Swells With Vote; Panel        Project, State Emergency Management           5 Personal communication with JoAnn
Action Bolsters Buyouts,” St. Louis Post    Agency, Jefferson City, MO. December          Donze, February 23, 1999, and Art
Dispatch, November 10, 1993                 26, 1996.                                     Schwent, “St. Mary applies for more
                                                                                          money to expand flood buyout program,”
27  Arthur Goldgaber, “Bellefontaine        40  “Out of Harm’s Way: Missouri’s            Perryville Sun Times, July 20, 1994.
Neighbors Aiming to Be First To             Flood Buyout Program,” State Emer-
Complete Buyout,” St. Louis Post            gency Management Agency (SEMA),               6“Gov. acts on buyout,” Perry County
Dispatch, St. Charles Post Section, May     Jefferson City, MO. 1995.                     Republic-Monitor, February 15, 1994.
10, 1994.
                                            41 Mark Schlinkmann, “Flood Buyout            7 “Application and Grant Approval for
28  Personal communication with Char-       Checks Ease Horrible Year,” Post              St. Mary, Missouri,” Missouri State
lotte Youngman, Bellefontaine City          Dispatch, News, July 23, 1994.                Emergency Management Agency
Clerk, May 21, 1999.                                                                      (SEMA).
                                            42 Linda Eardley, “Flood Buyouts At
29  Arthur Goldgaber, “Bellefontaine        Hand: New Grants Cover About 671              8 Art Schwent, “St. Mary gets approval
Neighbors Aiming to Be First to             Buildings Damaged By Floods,” St.             for flood funds,” Perryville Sun Times,
Complete Buyout,” St. Louis Post            Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis Region,        April 20, 1994.
Dispatch, St. Charles Post Section, May     February 27, 1994.
10, 1994.                                                                                 9 Art Schwent, “St. Mary applies for
                                            43 “Buyouts keep flood costs down,”           more money to expand flood buyout
30  Personal communication with Char-       Columbia Daily Tribune, May 25, 1995.         program,” Perryville Sun Times, July 20,
lotte Youngman, May 21, 1999.                                                             1994.
                                            44 “St. Louis and the Flood of ‘93, Buyout
31  Mark Schlinkmann, “Flood Buyout         Bulletin,” State Emergency Management         10 Art Schwent, “St. Mary completes
Checks Ease Horrible Year : Bellefontaine   Agency, Jefferson City, MO., Summer           buyout of properties,” Perryville Sun
Neighbors Fulfills $557,600 Program,”       1995.                                         Times, August 17, 1994.
St. Louis Post Dispatch, News, July 23,
1994.                                       45 Tom Uhlenbrock and Joe Holleman,           11Personal communication with JoAnn
                                            “River Crests Fall Short of Predictions,      Donze, February 23, 1994.
32Harry Levins, “On Books, 95 Flood         but ‘95 Flood still third Worst,” St. Louis
Looks Puny,” St. Louis Post Dispatch,       Post Dispatch, News, May 22, 1995.            12 “At A Glance,” Final Performance
News, June 3, 1995.                                                                       Report on St. Mary, Missouri, Missouri
                                            46  “Out of Harm’s Way: Missouri’s            State Emergency Management Agency
33 Tom Uhlenbrock, “The Big Flood           Flood Buyout Program,” State Emer-            (SEMA), November 4, 1996.
Buyout Program that Work: Across            gency Management Agency (SEMA),
Region Many Low-Lying Communities           Jefferson city, MO. 1995., p. 14.

Page 86
13 Art Schwent, “St. Mary may get           12 “Green Hills Opens Carrollton Office    8 Personal communication with Destin
FEMA funds” Perryville Sun Times,           to Aid with Buy-out,” Carrollton Daily     Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,
February 16, 1993.                          Democrat, August 25, 1994.                 Missouri Emergency Management
                                                                                       Agency, February 16, 1999.
14 Art Schwent, “Grant Advances St.         13 Quote from Doug Womack in
Mary flood recovery program,” Perryville    “Demolition to Begin” Carrollton Daily     9 “Flooding Missouri River Disrupts This
Sun Times, November 9, 1994.                Democrat, June 14, 1994.                   Area Again,” Marthasville Record, May
                                                                                       25, 1995.
15Personal Communication with JoAnn         14 Personal communication with Denise
Donze, February 23, 1999.                   Stottlemeyer, February 1, 1999.            10“Warren County Included on Disaster
                                                                                       Area List,” Marthasville Record, June
                                            15Jon Flatland, “Flood Buyout Under-       22, 1995.
             Wakenda                        way in City of Carrollton,” Carrollton
                                            Democrat, September 5, 1999, and           11“Final Performance Report,” Missouri
                                            “Application Process Delayed,”             SEMA, March 17, 1997, p. 2.
1 Mike K. Johnson, “Wakenda Becomes         Carrollton Daily Democrat, December 2,
Dis-incorporated as a town,” Carrollton     1993.                                      12 Personal communication with Chuck
Democrat (Carrollton), December 27,                                                    Eichmeyer, Boonslick Regional Plan-
1996.                                       16 Personal communication with Denise      ning Commission, February 16, 1999.
                                            Stottlemeyer, February 1, 1999.
2 “Early History Reveals Wakenda’s                                                     13 Personal communication with Lydia
Original Name,” Carrollton Daily Demo-      17Personal communication with Trella       Zillgitt, Marthasville resident, February
crat, October 11, 1994. On July 11, 1995,   Ward, February 1, 1999.                    16, 1999.
the Carrollton Daily Democrat changed
from a daily to a twice weekly              18 Jon Flatland, “Conservation Dept.       14 Personal communication with Chuck
newspaper, and also changed its name to     Studies Effects of Floodwaters on Trees    Eichmeyer, Boonslick Regional Plan-
the Carrollton Democrat.                    in Wakenda,” Carrollton Democrat,          ning Commission, February 16, 1999.
                                            September 8, 1995.
3 Personal communication with Trella
Ward, Emergency Planning Director for       19 Jon Flatland, “Water Officials and                    Conclusion
Carroll County, February 1, 1999.           Landowners Pursue Wakenda Watershed
                                            Project,” Carrollton Democrat, Septem-
4 Personal communication with Denise        ber 29, 1995.                              1 “Flood of ‘95 cost less than ‘93 flood,”
Stottlemeyer, Director of the Green Hills                                              Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau),
Regional Planning Commission, Febru-                                                   January 27, 1996.
ary 1, 1999.                                        Warren County                      2 Sue Schneider and Kate Klise, “Out of
5 Supplement to the Carrollton Daily                                                   Harm’s Way: Missouri’s Flood Buyout
Democrat, the Waverly Times, and the        1 “Flood Waters Threaten Marthasville,”    Program,” Missouri State Emergency
Norborne Democrat, September 16,            July 15, 1993, Editorial Page July 22,     Management Agency (SEMA), pp. 3, 5,
1993.                                       1993, and “Flooding Missouri Disrupts      and 14.
                                            This Area Again,” May 25, 1995.
6 Trish Sailer, “Wakenda Citizens Await                                                3 Tim O’Neil, “Public Costs Plummet
Information to Decide Future,” Carrollton   2 Personal communication with Lydia        For 1995 Floods. Buyout of Property
Daily Democrat, June 14, 1994.              Zillgitt, February 16, 1999.               Destroyed in ‘93 Gets Credit For
                                                                                       Savings,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, News
7 Kristi Madison, “Two-Thirds of            3 Personal communication with Ruby         Analysis, January 26, 1996.
Wakenda Attends Meeting,” Carrollton        Buchholz, July 5, 1999.
Daily Democrat, October 11, 1993.                                                      4 Article dated May 28, 1995, section 1B.
                                            4 “Heavy Rains Last Week Wednesday
8 Kristi Madison, “Wakenda Buyout           Cause Widespread Flash Flooding,”          5   Article dated May 31, 1999, p. A1.
Answers Lead to Decisions,” Carrollton      Marthasville Record (Marthasville), Sep-
Daily Democrat, October 19, 1993.           tember 30, 1993.                           6“Out of the mud, some lessons,” The
                                                                                       Economist, May 27, 1995, p. 28.
9 Kristi Madison, “Wakenda Citizens         5 “Seminar To Be Held To Discuss
Delay Decision,” Carrollton Daily Demo-     Federal Flood Relocation Program”          7 Personal communication with Destin
crat, October 25, 1993.                     Marthasville Record, December 9, 1993.     Frost, State Hazard Mitigation Officer,
                                                                                       Missouri’s State Emergency Manage-
10Kristi Madison, “Families Return to       6 “Volkmer Announces FEMA Reloca-          ment Agency (SEMA), Jefferson City,
Wakenda,” Carrollton Daily Democrat,        tion Funds,” Marthasville Record, April    Missouri, June 15, 1999.
November 3, 1993.                           28, 1994.
11Kristi Madison, “Application Process      7 Personal Communication with Steve
Delayed,” Carrollton Daily Democrat,        Etcher, Director of Boonslick Regional
December 2, 1993.                           Planning Commission, February 9, 1999.

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