Joplin officials assess storm damage

Joplin officials assess storm damage
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Joplin city officials are out today assessing the damage following the storms and flooding. They say the brunt of the damage is by the Great Falls.

The storms have passed and the water has gone down, but the water was so high over the bank that on Sunday, the Stevens family had to drive through a field in order to get access to their home.

“We had to climb over the barbed wire and get our stuff and get the kids back over along with our things,” says Latisha Stevens.

Many of the residents that live near Shoal Creek and the Great Falls say they are used to the inconvenience of the Low Water Bridge being closed, but this storm was extreme.

“We never dreamed it would get over Riverside. I mean never did we think it would go over,” says Stevens.

Officials with the City of Joplin say the worst damage is on Riverside Drive, where a stretch of concrete has been lifted.

“On any major water course, you’re going to have potential damages like that anytime you have enough rain that makes it get out of it banks,” says Director of Public Works Nick Heatherly.

But residents were still shocked by the flooding and damage from this storm.

“It’s unreal, it’s just, we didn’t ever think it would get this bad,” says Stevens.

Normally there are 4 ways out of the neighborhood and right now due to damage, there’s only 1. Residents worry what might happen in an emergency situation if the road is closed for too long.

“It would be very difficult I think for emergency vehicles to get back here quickly because they’re taking the long way around. We do have, our oldest child is special needs, he has cerebral palsy and that would certainly affect that,” says Stevens.

But for now, residents will have to wait a little bit longer.

“We would like to get it opened up as quickly as possible. The ground right now obviously is very saturated and we have to let things dry out just a little more and then we’ll get in and start the rework and the repair,” says Heatherly.

City officials are considering putting in drainage pipes when they fix the road to prevent future flooding. They say repairing the lift station in south Joplin will be the biggest expense following the storm.