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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Returning to normal: Flood gates to be pulled Monday

  • With the Mississippi River forecast to dip below 20 feet sometime this evening (Friday), plans have been made to pull all five of Hannibal’s flood gates on Monday, July 21, according to John Hark, the city’s emergency management director.
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  • With the Mississippi River forecast to dip below 20 feet sometime this evening (Friday), plans have been made to pull all five of Hannibal’s flood gates on Monday, July 21, according to John Hark, the city’s emergency management director.
    After the gates are pulled Hark says the riverfront will remain blocked off to the public until debris left by the high water can be removed and a general cleanup can take place east of the downtown levee.
    The city's five flood gates were installed on June 30 after the National Weather Service initially forecast a crest of 21.5. Ultimately the river reached a crest of 26.68 feet on July 8, which was the sixth highest flood crest for Hannibal in its recorded history. The record crest was 31.80 feet reached on July 15, 1993. Technical flood stage in Hannibal is 16 feet.
    Elsewhere in Hannibal, Main Street, south of the flood gate, was being cleaned by the Street Department on Thursday morning in anticipation of it being reopened to traffic later in the day.
    The Street Department also announced Thursday that the city’s yard waste lot, located at Colfax Avenue and Seventh Street, would re-opened effective today (Friday). It had been closed due to high water on surrounding streets.
    Cleanup of the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center was continuing Thursday. The work of getting the old armory ready for use started earlier this week.
    “I was in there on Monday and took a look at everything. The water was completely out of it. There was still water surrounding the building. There was about a quarter-inch of mud on the floor everywhere, which is to be expected,” said Aron Lee, assistant director of the Parks & Recreation Department. “We started Tuesday on the initial cleanup, using fire hoses, power washers and things like that. It’s still ongoing, but it looks like for Monday we should be back open. Usually it takes us about a week to make sure everything is cleaned up, disinfected and sanitized so it’s safe to open back up to the public.”
    Although water reached a depth of 3 feet inside the Recreation Center, there was no damage, according to Lee.
    “When we knew the water was going to crest enough to get inside the building, that’s when we jumped on it,” he said of preparing the building for a flood. “We took some of the bigger items out to the (Parks Department) maintenance shop. Anything that was smaller we put upstairs (in the old armory), so there was no damage, which is always a plus.”
    Another plus was that no events scheduled for the armory, other than the weekly senior dances, had to be cancelled or relocated due to the flooding.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We didn’t have anything rented out that week,” said Lee. “As far as anybody paying to use the facility, they didn’t miss out on anything.” 
     

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