Neosho city officials hold meeting to fill citizens needs

Neosho city officials hold meeting to fill citizens needs
Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The City of Neosho holding a meeting to find out what their citizens need to help with recovery efforts from the most recent round of flooding.

Residents from around the Riverside area and some of the other hard-hit neighborhoods in Neosho came to the meeting looking for answers on what to do next. Many, like Debbie Yost, were affected by the 2017 flooding. Debbie Yost says “At one point we said, I don’t know if I want to move into that house, what if it floods again, and it’s like, it won’t flood, it’s a 100 year flood, it hadn’t flooded for 75 years, it’s not going to flood again anytime soon…and two years later.”

A potential voluntary buyout is on the table from FEMA, depending on a number of factors. The city has been circulating a survey to residents along riverside about the buyout, originally, Yost, didn’t want to take part, but now, she’s not so sure. Yost says “So I don’t know if it’s worth us to even try and fix it again, it seems like being bought out might be best at this point.”

Mayor William Doubek says this meeting isn’t about funding repairs for people, but finding manpower for cleanup. Doubek says “If there’s a need out there call city hall, talk to Rachel at city hall, talk to the city manager, and we will do everything we possibly can to help.”

The city brought two volunteer organizations, the VFW and the Lutheran church, to help. Doubek says “They are presently getting people to volunteer to come out and give that one on one help”.

Volunteers with the Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief group were also in town to offer services, but say, they, like other agencies, are spread thin. Michael Updegrave says “We’ve had a little bit of difficulty getting resources for this one, a lot has to do with it being so close to the holiday as well, so people are still going on vacation, but also, it’s just been one after another for the last two months now.”

And Updegrave says it’s taking a toll on their volunteers. Updegrave says “So we’ve started to hit where some of these volunteers have working for two, three, four, seven weeks in a row.”

Doubek says they’re hopeful they can get enough people in town to help with clean up efforts throughout the flood-stricken areas. City officials say there’s no official word on when a disaster declaration could be made, but, state officials are working to have this disaster added to the declaration made following the april storms, which could speed up recovery efforts.

Get the latest local and national headlines straight to your email for free: Sign up here.