research team studies Fishing River

Watershed Study Begins as City Battles Downtown Flooding

Earlier this week Excelsior Springs city officials welcomed researchers from consulting groups, Vireo and George Butler Associates, who were in town to begin the process of examining ways in which flooding in throughout downtown can be reduced. The research team spent several hours on Thursday touring areas along Fishing River discussing strategies that could be implemented to make a quick impact. Public Works director, Chad Birdsong led the tour pointing out “trouble spots” and areas of greatest concern. Scott Schulte, the Senior Environmental Planner at Vireo, said that in the past the solution to a problem such as this might have been to build a big reservoir somewhere upstream, but his team will be looking at multiple site-specific strategies all along Fishing River and Dry Fork in order to curb sudden swells during storm season. He emphasized that “there isn’t going to be one quick fix” to the decades-old problem of flooding that has plagued downtown businesses and homeowners.

The team on hand has worked on several major projects in the Kansas City metro area and said the one thing that has been noticeably different on this project is the cooperation between all of the players involved. Schulte said they were very impressed with the way that City officials such as Molly McGovern and Melinda Mehaffy have reached out to both Clay County and Ray County officials to build strong relationships in order to make this process go as smoothly as possible. Representatives from the two firms had a booth at Waterfest this past weekend where they gathered qualitative data, in the form of informal surveys, from area residents about flooding issues that city officials might be unaware of, or that were just of specific concern to them.

Click Here if you’d like to take the quick survey and let the planners know of specific spots of concern. Or for more information about the watershed study visit the City’s information page at this link.


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