Archive for the ‘March '08 Midwest Flooding’ Category

USA: March ‘08 Midwest Flooding Assessment Final Report

Monday, March 31st, 2008

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The good news is that contrary to most media coverage, the flooding in Missouri and Arkansas is not as abnormal or severely widespread as reported. While river levels remain high and may climb higher, the damage to homes thus far is not overwhelming the ability of local agencies to respond. We are happy to report that residential areas and businesses affected are handling the situation well and seem to be on the right track. We will continue to monitor the situation but will not be deploying a volunteer project at this time.

What we have found since the last update:

In Poplar Bluff, MO we met with county firefighters and spoke with the county emergency manager. Like most other affected Missouri towns, apparent damage was much less than the reported amount. We decided to move into Arkansas and continue our assessment there.
Swollen rivers in Arkansas are very high and some farmland is under water, but overall levees and flood plains are functioning and holding the floodwater at a safe distance from concentrated residential areas.

In Norfolk, Arkansas we met with the local fire chief and Baxter County emergency manager. Norfolk had about 60 homes with major flood damage but with the help of their volunteer fire department they had most of the cleanup completed and seemed to be well on their way to recovery. Baxter County is also home to Gassville, AR where our latest US relief project was located a few weeks ago. Click here for more info on Project Gassville.

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Des Arc, Prairie County, AR:

The greater Des Arc community was by far the most affected region that we assessed. The initial estimates that we received en route reported that a couple of hundred homes were still under water. When we arrived that number dropped to 80-120 homes affected. We estimate that the county has somewhere around 60 affected homes overall. The amount of water in each affected home varies from 2 inches to several feet. The floodwater in Des Arc is receding but most of the homes affected are surrounded by water and are still not accessible. The Des Arc area was hit by major flooding in 1973, 1982 and some minor flooding in 2002.

The water in Des Arc and Prairie County will not fully recede for at least another week and a half. After talking with the county judge, county emergency manager and a few locals, we did not sense that they felt overwhelmed by the situation and seemed confident that when the waters receded their community would be able to handle most of the recovery. We will continue to check in with Prairie County but don’t anticipate having a volunteer project there at this time.

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The HODR Mobile Command Unit is back on the road headed toward Boston.

USA: March ‘08 Midwest Flooding Assessment Update 2

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Checking in from the Road

We have begun our assessment of the areas affected by the recent Midwest flooding. We originally went to Piedmont, MO. We toured the town and met with the Southern Baptist and Samaritan’s Purse disaster response teams. Things seem to be under control and on the right track. We then decided to head further south and continue to assess. The general consensus so far is that the initial damage estimates were much higher than the actual damage suffered.

We next went to Poplar Bluff, MO. Original reports said that there were 7000 houses damaged here. Then the number was reduced to 1300. Now it’s 20 or so. We talked to the local fire department and county emergency management agency (EMA) and it is clear that things are under control. The biggest current activity is requesting financial donations – so we moved on quickly.

FEMA and NOAA report that flood waters have fallen in parts of Arkansas but continue to rise in others. We are currently on the way back to Gassville, AR, which is where we worked last month responding to the tornado and which is quite near some of the reported flooding.

On the drive out from Boston to Missouri we (Tom Taylor and Bill Driscoll Jr.) made a stop at a college friend of Bill’s. His apartment is fast becoming the Columbus, Ohio, rest stop for HODR.

We will have more info about our ongoing assessment in a couple of days.

USA: March ‘08 Midwest Flooding Assessment

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

A HODR assessment team is currently en route to evaluate the damage caused by flooding over the past week in the Midwestern United States. The team will visit affected areas and assess the need and potential for a volunteer project.

According to FEMA’s last report on Thursday 3/27 Missouri has between 530 – 580 homes damaged or destroyed and 50 businesses damaged or destroyed. 70 counties have been affected.

The number of homes damaged or destroyed in Arkansas is approximately 650+. 45 Counties have been affected.

Please check back in the coming days for more information.