FEMA approves repair projects in Anderson following summer flood

ANDERSON, Mo. – The June flood of 2019 took a heavy toll on Anderson, damaging roads, bridges and businesses like Southern Roots Salon.

“We lost thousands of dollars worth of products, hair colors, shampoos, conditioners, perms, all sorts of stuff, we lost our equipment, our hot tools, straighteners, curling irons, blow dryers,” said salon owner Julia Townsend.

The salon was filled with more than five feet of water. Townsend never expected her business to flood. Without insurance, she turned to FEMA.

“I talked to them more than once and I was told more than once that FEMA doesn’t really, they don’t help businesses, they are more for residential, so unfortunately, they weren’t able to help us.”

While FEMA turned down assistance for Southern Roots, it’s approved concrete work on Town Hole Park and its parking lot. The cost of that work, though, is still being worked out.

“That will depend upon the bids that we actually receive. FEMA reimburses, which requires invoices to be submitted. They’ve already received engineering cost estimates so they’re aware of the amounts that possibly could be required,” explained Anderson Mayor John Sellers.

City officials are looking at ways to avoid costly flood damage in the future.

“We’re going to try to make sure that it is essentially flood-proof if anything is built and any areas that are prone to this flooding, we’re going to be taking a very hard look at whether anything is built there in the future,” said Sellers.

As for Southern Roots, with support from the community and help from other salons providing supplies, the business hopes to reopen in a couple months.

“We’re doing our best to get it up and going, reconstructing the inside, we plan on going in and just kinda being here and really just seeing where God leads us with it all,” expressed Townsend.

City officials will meet with FEMA next week to discuss funding approval for repairs to Sellers Road and Main Street bridge.