Experiences from 1993 help 2011 flood planning

Vehicles drive toward Jefferson City on a section of U.S. 54/63 early Saturday evening in southern Callaway County. A significant portion of the highway was swamped during the 1993 flood, cutting off commuters who live in Holts Summit, Ashland, Fulton and other communities north of the Missouri River.

Vehicles drive toward Jefferson City on a section of U.S. 54/63 early Saturday evening in southern Callaway County. A significant portion of the highway was swamped during the 1993 flood, cutting off commuters who live in Holts Summit, Ashland, Fulton and other communities north of the Missouri River. Photo by Kelley McCall.

Melva Fast got her first job with Jefferson City’s government because of the record-setting Floods of 1993.

“We were in a situation where people could not go back to where they were — the properties had stood in floodwaters for six weeks and there was no going back.”

The federal government created a buy-out program to help people move if their homes had suffered more than 50 percent damage, resulting in far fewer Jefferson City residences to evacuate if high water strikes now.

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And Jefferson City officials developed an action plan for specific steps to take as flood waters rise.

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