Harrisonville leaders working with Army Corps of Engineers to seek solutions for frequent flash flooding

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — People living in Cass County say it’s like a recurring nightmare.

Harrisonville residents spent Monday cleaning up after Saturday’s storms.

The owners at Harrisonville Trade Fair said they’re concerned every time it rains. Krystal Winchel’s family has operated the popular Trade Fair Mall since 2007.

When flash flooding happened Saturday evening, a nearby creek flooded and spilled 3 feet of water into the store.

Video from the store’s surveillance cameras show customers who were there at the time refused to leave, choosing instead to wade through the water to complete their purchases. See the footage in the video player above.

“It came across the street and came over our hill like a waterfall,” Winchel said. “It took shelves off the wall. It took things from a booth at the south end and put it in a booth at the north end.”

The Trade Fair Mall rents space to more than 250 flea market vendors. Many of them are now drying out their belongings and salvaging what they can. Many of the waterlogged items are now in the store’s parking lot.

This is the third time in the past two years that the store had flooded. Two strong instances of flash flooding occurred in 2017 alone.

Winchel said she wants something done, and she’s not the only one asking for the city’s help.

Daniel Barnett, spokesperson for the city of Harrisonville, said city leaders are working to see what can be done to prevent future flooding.

He said they’ve already contacted people in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. to see if state or federal help will be available.

“We don’t like seeing people’s houses and their basements all flooded, water lines on the side of homes,” Barnett said. “We don’t like the kind of work the Trade Fair has to do now, a couple of times, but it’s not going to be an overnight fix.”

Barnett pointed to the fact that a crew from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently studying local storm sewers and storm drains to see if anything needs to be changed. The results from that study will be presented at Harrisonville’s Board of Aldermen meeting on Oct. 7.

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