Mt. Washington Cemetery in recovery following high winds and rain

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A local landmark, where many of Kansas City's founding fathers are buried, is in recovery mode due to damage from a week's worth of strong storms.

The past few days haven't been so restful for workers and visitors at the Mt. Washington Cemetery, after high winds and heavy rain damaged key structures in that area.

It's been a trying time for managers at the historic cemetery. The storms the metro area have endured since late last week have washed out a key interior bridge within the property, which is used by visitors to view their loved ones' final resting places.

Cemetery managers say it was last Thursday, when stormy weather toppled large trees, some of which have stood here since the cemetery opened in the year 1900. Now, some of those trees are lying across people's graves.

Then, Monday's tornadic conditions dumped heavy water into the cemetery's creek, causing it to burst and wash out two bridges. One of them is completely unsafe for use.

Mt. Washington Cemetery President Duke Radovich says his crews have actively cleared muddy roads and smaller trees.

“The volume of water that came down the creek is something that this cemetery, in all its years, has not experienced; even the 1977 flood on the Plaza, when we had 12 inches of rain,” Radovich said.

Mt. Washington is the forever home to some of Kansas City's most notable names, with over 50,000 people interred there. Radovich says all parts of the cemetery are accessible, but he wants to see the bridge repaired soon.

“Everyone can get to every part of the cemetery,” Radovich said. “It may take them a little bit longer, but they can still get there.”

Radovich says he's prioritizing the fallen trees and clearing monuments that are cherished by those who are left behind.

“Mt. Washington is a beautiful place,” Radovich said. “It's a treasure of history in Kansas City. We're working pretty hard to make sure it stays that way.”

Radovich says no graves have been damaged during this season of heavy rain, and his staff is using the aid of a local engineering firm to rebuild the bridge soon. He also says there's no time table for the repairs and cleanup to be completed.