Flood victims may turn to Nixon for help

Residents who have flooding concerns near Orrick may have to turn to Gov. Jay Nixon’s office for help.
Another meeting was held last week in Orrick at Crossroads convenience store. Representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Conservation and the United States Department of Agriculture were on hand to hear from area residents and business owners. Rep. Bob Nance pulled the meeting together. Ray County Commissioners Mike Twyman and Allen Dale were also present.
After a discussion at Crossroads, the meeting turned to a tour of Keeney Creek, the main culprit of the flash flooding.
Resident Linda Lauck told the group that a train bridge south of Highway 210 and possible cars at the mouth of the creek are blocking the water. She also said ditches around the area are full and tubing under the highway is inadequate.
“I’m not an engineer or a rocket scientist but I know what will take the least path of resistance,” Lauck said at the meeting. “You can look at Keeney Creek and see it’s a disaster area.”
Lauck said local MoDOT officials told her after the meeting that Keeney Creek nor the ditches needed to be cleaned out. Furthermore, Lauck said one MoDOT official expressed discontent in the meeting being called.
USDA representative Beth Baragary said there are two programs her department offers, but both require a local match of 25 percent of the project. One of the programs would accept labor as the match. The other program that could be utilized would help in the construction of flood prevention, but a financial obligation is attached to the program.
Ray County Commissioners have already indicated they do not think any money could be made available in this year’s budget.
Nance said earlier this week that he has written a letter to Nixon asking for assistance. Nixon could request President Barack Obama to declare the area a disaster area, which would qualify for federal funding. Nance said he has also contacted Congressman Ike Skelton’s office and will continue to make further contact.
Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office announced yesterday that more than $4.8 million would be made available to Missouri for flood prevention through USDA.

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