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Week by Week: Highlighting the Flood of '93

Sunday, July 28, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Floodwaters from the Missouri River washed away parts of U.S. 54 and U.S. 63 in Jefferson City in 1993. Workers repaired rail and gas lines.

This summer, the Missourian has been publishing a weekly timeline of events that were unfolding 20 years ago along with occasional stories about the people and places that weathered the Flood of 1993. Here is this week's timeline:

July 31

  • The Missouri River ripped out parts of 1,000 to 2,000 feet of U.S. 54 near Jefferson City. With U.S. 63 closed, the damage closed the only road connecting Jefferson City t0 Columbia and points to the north.

Aug. 1

  • Flood waters recede at the Columbia Water Treatment Plant in McBaine. Although this meant waters were less of a threat, officials still encouraged less water use.
  • Mississippi River reaches 49.2 feet in St. Louis — just short of the 52-foot flood wall. Water rose through the sewer system in the River Des Peres area, which threatened hundreds of homes.
  • The Missouri River at Hermann was 36.4 feet; the record level at Hermann in the 1993 flood was 36.97 the previous day.

Aug. 2

  • Strong currents around poles carrying electricity threatened the Columbia water treatment plant.

Aug. 3

  • Two southbound lanes of U.S. 54 were reopened for one-lane traffic each way and shuttles started transporting people from Columbia to Jefferson City. 
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced it would lift a number of standards to help aid flood victims deal with the cleanup, including a ban on the types of debris that could be dumped in landfills. 
  • Union Electric sent divers to consider running a temporary gas line across the U.S. 54 bridge over the Missouri River to help bring power back to customers in Ashland, Hartsburg, Holts Summit and New Bloomfield who lost power the previous week. 

Aug. 4

  • The Missourian reported that $1.9 million from the federal government was allocated to state mental health centers across Missouri for flood counseling.
  • Trucks began bringing rock to repair U.S. 54.

Aug. 5

  • The Columbia Water Treatment Plant declared safe and normal consumption of water resumed.
  • Cedar City residents gathered at a meeting in Jefferson City where they were offered a proposal to buy out flood-ravaged bottom lands. 
  • About 10,000 people in St. Louis were evacuated because of fear the almost 30,000 propane tanks that were floating in the flood waters would explode.
  • The Senate passed a $5.8 billion measure directed at helping the flooded Midwest homeowners, businesses, cities and farmers.

Aug. 6

  • A 42-year-old West Alton man swam 20 miles in the Mississippi River and floodwaters before reaching dry land almost a day after he was thrown off his jonboat while attempting to check his flooded home.

Sources: The Columbia Missourian, the Columbia Daily Tribune and The Associated Press.


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