Some clean up and some move on after historic Missouri River flooding in Craig

CRAIG, Mo. -- Cleanup is underway in Craig, one of the northwest Missouri towns hit hardest by flooding from the Missouri River.

Parts of the town, which has a population of less than 300 people, were under water for nearly a week after multiple levees broke. By Wednesday, much of the water had receded.

“Coming back in and seeing it the way it is -- it just tears your heart out,” said Diana Jones, a resident. “We have to start over new.”

Jones has lived in Craig most of her life. Her home was washed off its foundation in the flood of 1993. Her family moved to the other side of town thinking that they would be safer.

“I really thought that we were going to beat it this time,” she said. “That river went higher than it ever has.”

Jones said she had up to 18 inches of water inside her home this time. They had to throw out furniture and appliances and rip out carpet on the first floor.

“We just remolded the house. It’s not even been a year,” she said. "We’ve been doing it room by room, and now it’s gone.”

When FOX4 visited Craig on Wednesday, our crew saw people’s belongings sitting curbside, windows and doors perched open and there was the sense that not many residents plan to return.

“I know there’s not a lot of them coming back,” Jones said. “They’ve been in too many floods, and they’re done. I mean, even one flood for somebody would be devastating.”

Bob Lawson owns a mechanic shop in town. The shop didn’t suffer a lot of damage, but Lawson is afraid that the few businesses in town might pack up and leave.

“Pretty sure we’ve got a business or two that’s going to close down,” Lawson said.

He’s not going anywhere, but he said he understands why some will.

“This is the fourth time that we’ve been flooded or threatened real severely with flooding in the last 22-25 years,” he said. “It gets old after a while.”

Jones and her family considered not returning, but she said Craig is and will forever be home. She hopes others will find the strength to rebuild.

“We have to be strong as a community,” she said.

As of Wednesday evening, utilities in Craig hadn't been restored yet. School is expected to resume next Wednesday at the River of Hope Church in Mound City.

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