Families hold vigil for victims of historic flood almost 20 years later

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Families who lost loved ones during historic flooding in 1998 held a vigil today to remember those who died.

Orlando Hudson was among eleven people who died during devastating floods that occurred in Kansas City on October 4, 1998. Eight of the people who died, were on or near the prospect road bridge.

On Sunday Hudson’s family members held signs in his memory near the corner of 47th & Prospect. His sister Sharon says it’s something they do every year, to remember Orlando as well as the others who lost their lives in the flood. Eventually she hopes to see a permanent sign put up near the bridge with the names of those who died.

“We’re trying to have a monument put up on prospect and brush creek with their names on it and that’s what I’m pushing forward to happen in the future so our families will love coming by here instead of remembering them passing away here,” said Sharon Hudson.

Hudson says her brother was 26 at the time he died. He was on his way back from a quick trip to the grocery store when flood waters over took the Prospect Road Bridge trapping him and several others in their cars. Ten of the eleven deaths that occurred that day happened after sunset in vehicles.

Councilman Jermaine Reed also attended the memorial event. He says the city has worked tirelessly over the past 19 years to make improvements to this and other flood prone areas in Kansas City.

“The bridge that we have here now is part of the Brush Creek improvement plans that have been in the works for the long time. This bridge has been improved but we’ve also made signifigant improvements along the brush creek corridor,” said Reed.

“In addition to that, Indian Creek and Turkey Creek improvements are also being made, and we are also working with the rock services department to make some signifigant improvements along this corridor here,” Reed explained.

October 4, 2018 will mark 20 years since the historic flooding event.