Eureka hopes new funding for flood prevention will make a differ - KMOV.com

Eureka hopes new funding for flood prevention will make a difference

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
EUREKA, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

"You're not going to be able to stop Mother Nature,” said Casey O’Dell, owner of O’Dell’s Irish Pub.

It's lunchtime at O’Dell’s Irish Pub in downtown Eureka.

Flashback to May 1, 2017, when historically high floodwater threatened the family-owned business for a second year in a row.

"Clearing out all of your equipment all your furniture, packing up,” said O’Dell.

Several communities were underwater in West County, with hundreds of homes and businesses damaged and portions of Interstates 44 and 55 shut down.

"It hurt to have to tell people that the water's coming again,” said Eureka Mayor Kevin Coffey.

Eureka Mayor Kevin Coffey said at least $2 million will be put towards flood prevention efforts over the next 20 years thanks to overwhelming approval of Prop E in April, a half-cent sales tax over 70 percent of voters were in favor of.

"70 percent for a tax issue is outstanding,” said Mayor Coffey. “To have that much support and to have people put that much faith in the city's efforts that we are a going to make a difference."

Coffey told News 4 the city's searching for a company to conduct a flood study.

Eureka is also working with the Army Corps of Engineers with their review of the entire lower Meramec basin.

"We've had several meetings with the corps already and put out our request for proposal,” said Mayor Coffey.

"For us, it's a game-changer,” said O’Dell.  “Prop E gives us something that we can use now, in the present moment, to start making effective changes."

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