Flood affecting land owners

Drains, streams and creeks have built up with debris after recent heavy rains in the area.

Several days of heavy rainfall last week resulted in many homes and yards being damaged from flooding.

Debris and logs are now starting to build up in creeks, streams and channels for landowners. There have been many questions and concerns as the clean-up process continues.

“I have received many phone calls and messages,” said Buchanan County Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Brinton. “County employees cannot go into private property naturally.”

Removal of debris and logs from stream channels is generally an individual landowner responsibility,” said Chief of Emergency Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jud Kneuvean. “In Missouri, landowners whose property backs up to streams usually own the centerline of the channel.”

There are other circumstances when the responsibility will fall on others.

“Once debris gets pushed up against bridges, that is a situation where the county will come in and help with cleanup,” Brinton said.

“The USACE only participates in debris removal when requested by FEMA through a mission assignment,” said Kneuvean.

“You have to have $9.5 million worth of damage and 850 houses involved for a federal declaration,” said Brinton. “There is just not enough damage.”

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency will serve in an advisory role.

The issue is a topic of discussion for local and state officials and will be revisited as needed.