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'It’ll be a good test of the system' | Eureka prepares for potential flash flooding

Years of tree growth and debris buildup in the creeks had gone untouched, the mayor said. When the rain fell, the rising water had nowhere to go but out.

EUREKA, Mo. — Eureka city officials say they’ve fixed a drainage problem that led to flash flooding last summer, and this weekend’s rain will be the first test of the work.

Twice last summer, several inches of rain fell in just a couple of hours, causing water to rise. Cars were swept off the roads and businesses flooded.

“The creeks and all our drainage system, stormwater system, throughout the whole city was clogged,” Mayor Sean Flower said.

Years of tree growth and debris buildup in the creeks had gone untouched, he said. When the rain fell, the rising water had nowhere to go but out.

The mayor said the city spent about $100,000 clearing the debris and crews carried away enough debris to fill 100 dump trucks.

This weekend’s rain is the heaviest expected rainfall since they finished their work.

“If it comes like they’re talking about, it’ll be a good test of the system,” the mayor said. “There’s no possible way that with the work we’ve done, we won’t be significantly better than before.”

Last summer’s flash flooding caused water to rise inside Joe Boccardi’s restaurant in Old Town Eureka. The water rushed in so quickly, customers pitched in, bringing tables and chairs to higher ground, the owner said.

He’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.

"I think they did enough to keep us dry, but I don't know, I guess it really depends on how crazy this one really is,” Mario Boccardi said.

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