HBPW hopes to salvage plywood used to extend protection

Almost seven weeks after the process of adding extensions to Hannibal's floodgates began, Hannibal Board of Public Works personnel began to remove them Tuesday morning.

Gene Majors of the HBPW said the removal of the wooden extensions has the support of Hannibal Emergency Management Director John Hark.

The extensions must be taken down from the floodgates before city officials can consider removing any of the gates, Majors said.

Once the tops of the gates are cleared, the HBPW will help remove some of the material that was used to add height to the downtown flood levee, Majors said. The clearing of sandbags, sheets of plastic and concrete barriers may not begin until after the upcoming July 4 celebration, he said.

Majors was hopeful all five of the levee's floodgates could be cleared Tuesday since rain is forecast for Wednesday.

It is hoped the lumber can be saved, but  HBPW General Manager Heath Hall does not know if that will be possible, he said during Monday's HBPW Board meeting

"Some of it has gotten wet, and plywood and wet don't go well," Hall said. "We are going to try and save it all, but we won't know if we can until we start taking it down."

The salvageable lumber will be placed in a couple of semi trailers that the HBPW has purchased.

The last time floodgate extensions were installed was in 2008, which ranked as Hannibal's second all-time flood crest at 29.54 feet until June 1, 2019, when a crest of 30.16 occurred.

As of late Tuesday morning the flood stage in Hannibal was 21.75 feet, which is classified as minor.

danny.henley@courierpost.com