Once a goldmine, some downtown Parkville businesses say standing water now costing them cash

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PARKVILLE, Mo. — The Missouri River spilling out of its banks was once a goldmine for businesses in downtown Parkville bringing in tourists from nearby cities and states. One shop owner said the standing water in the park is now costing him cash.

“Every time I hear rain I go, ‘oh no!'” owner of Parkville Trading Post Jeffrey Cunningham said.

How Mother Nature has affected these shops seems to depend on the nature of the business.

“We don’t have our parks so things have really slowed down a lot,” Cunningham said. His local shop depends heavily on park-goers.

“We go month to month so we need our sales,” Cunningham said.

With the park still closed to joggers, walkers and pets, he said sales are down 40%.

On the other side of the tracks across the street, Theresa Bentley said high flood waters haven’t really played a role in selling instruments.

“We’re a destination,” Bentley said. “So if people want a guitar, they’ll find a way to come get a guitar.”

Bentley said the number of walk-ins are down, because the initial draw to see signs and playground equipment underwater is no longer there.

“We’ve had a lot of people come from southern Overland Park, different sides of Kansas to come view the river,” owner of Sincerely Ellis Boutiques Kayla Taylor said.

The water continues to recede here in Parkville. Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston has had a chance to assess some of the damage. She said the costliest part in getting this park back to normal will be scraping away the silt.

“That has to be trucked out or redistributed across the park,” Johnston said. “We’re not expecting any really, really expensive items that will need to be replaced and we do expect full reimbursement from FEMA.”

Although the park is closed, shop owners assure you they are open for business. One of Cunningham’s vendors even offers a “flash flood sale” on Saturdays.

“So he’s running his sale `til the flood waters recede,” Cunningham said. “I hope there’s not a sequel to the sequel.”

Parkville police tell FOX4 the river has gone down nine feet in one week.

Looking ahead, every year Parkville puts on a 4th of July celebration. The mayor said they plan to have the parade, carnival and fireworks, as long as Mother Nature cooperates and the water continues to go down.

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