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City leaders in Monett, Mo. hope culvert expansion controls flooding issues

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:35 PM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) -Two months ago, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway expanded a culvert in downtown Monett, doubling its size. This expansion will allow more water to flow help control future flooding.

“If anyone knows anything about Monett, you know that downtown floods. It probably has for 120 years for as long as the city has been around,” said Director of the Monett Chamber of Commerce Jeff Meredith. “So for some businesses, it’s definitely a problem when you have things flooding in.”

A problem business owner Mauricio Fernandez has experienced.

”As soon as it starts raining for several hours constantly were taking precautions,” said Fernandez

Fernandez has owned The Beer Cave on Broadway for six years.

”We evacuate at the last minute that we have to and it’s just, people cant come in, can’t even park. Doors are closed, the streets are closed, and yeah, it hurts us,” said Fernandez

City leaders hope the improvements will keep businesses opened.

”When people think about flooding in downtown Monett, they are quick to blame the city. It’s the city’s fault. Well it’s not,” said Meredith. “As communities developed back in the 1800′s you wanted to be near the railroad. This year the railroad actually did their part as well. There was a channel not far from here that you had, basically a culvert, that was not big enough to manage the water. So since that time they have expanded that so the water can flow at a much greater volume.“

”It’s a good way to start expanding and making this controllable if possible. I think it’s a really good way to start thinking about the people on the surroundings. Businesses, customers, families, the people who own properties on broadway and their situation.” said Fernandez.

City leaders say it won’t prevent future flooding, but is a small step in taking care of the water problem downtown.

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