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Both Louisiana and Clarksville are now in recovery mode from the Flood of 2013 but continue to keep a close eye on the swollen Mississippi River.
Thunderstorms last week did not produce the torrential rains that caused the river to rise to high flood levels again in May after the initial crest on April 22.
Although there is a chance of rain Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16, The National Weather Service is predicting the river will continue to drop to three feet above flood level or less in Louisiana and Clarksville by Monday, June 17.
In Louisiana, City Administrator Bob Jenne last week accepted the offer of flood re-evaluation visits from three agencies. They are the Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The agencies will see if damages to city infrastructure, businesses and homes are bad enough to qualify for financial flood recovery assistance.
Meanwhile, Lehman Construction was pumping water out of the new city wastewater treatment plant construction site last week after being off the muddy site for about one month.
“We just got back in today,” said job supervisor Kevin Kliegel on Thursday, June 6. As he has before with other setbacks, Kliegel said his crews will work however long it takes to meet the October completion deadline.
On Monday, June 10, Richard Gladney was standing in the bay of Gladney Motors, waiting for the water to recede on Third Street.
“Each time it happens, it kills a month,” of business, he said. “It will be down by Friday and the highway will have to be open awhile before people realize we’re open.”
At Bella Frigento Ristorante across the street, crews were washing the building down.
“We’re going to take our time this time,” said owner Danny Miller, who cleaned up after the first flood and reopened only to see his business inundated again.
“There’s a lot of mud this time and it took out the walk-in cooler,” Miller said. “It might take three weeks to a month to open back up.”
With its limited financial resources, Clarksville considers to struggle with its recurring floods, according to Mayor Jo Anne Smiley.
SEMA picked up the bill for the flood and rock that the city and volunteers erected in April to block the fast flood.
Now, “SEMA said there is no other funding,” for cleanup operations or further floods this year, Smiley said.
That has the city scrambling for grants and appeals have been made to state legislators for assistance.
“We’ll have to consider every source we have,” Smiley said.
There is also no hurry to deconstruct the flood wall.
“We may need to use it again, it can’t be moved yet,” Smiley said.
Erratic July weather patterns could make the river rise yet again like the benchmark Flood of 1993, Smiley said. The city does not have money to take the flood wall down and then put it up again this year, she added.
Gnats and pollen
Pike County residents have noticed the flood has produced more than standing water, an outbreak of gnats.
Gnats thrive in standing water, according to the University of Missouri Extension Service website and there is plenty of that in Pike County from the flood.
The flood may also be responsible for more allergy flare-ups than normal, according to extension service Agronomy and Horticulture Specialist Max Glover.
“It’s possible that the additional rainfall is increasing the pollen,” Glover said. Trees that have suffered from drought and then get an onslaught of water like those in Pike County can also “produce a lot of pollen,” Glover said.