Water receded in many places across Eastern Jackson County on Monday before a fresh batch of rain storms hit Tuesday. But the damage was still evident in some places Tuesday in between bouts of precipitation.
According to the National Weather Service, Eastern Jackson County received anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of rain Friday through Monday morning, and another couple inches was expected Tuesday.
Jackson County Parks + Rec had closed the Little Blue Trace, Longview and Lake Vista trails Monday morning, and they remained closed Tuesday despite the water receding, as many areas still had some water or mud left over.
More noticeably, though, the flood-riddled area of U.S. 24 and Northern Boulevard at the Independence-Sugar Creek border remained inundated Tuesday afternoon. U.S. 24 was mostly uncovered, but the water still covered Northern south of the intersection and surrounded buildings on the Independence side, including Fairmount Liquors, which has been flooded out multiple times in recent years.
The flooding drew a visit from U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, who said it looked even worse than he remembered from a 2015 flood at the same location.
Many have blamed the floods on a spot at the edge of the used-car lot on the Sugar Creek side, where a few years ago the car lot owner filled in a sinkhole caused by a collapsed drain pipe at the culvert running under U.S. 24. The backed-up culvert has caused the drainage plain in Independence to overflow.
Independence has said the culvert is OK on its side. The Missouri Department of Transportation said the problem is just outside of its easement. Sugar Creek has wanted Mark Cosgrove, the car lot owner, to fix it. And Cosgrove has said he shouldn't be responsible.
Plans are in the works for Cosgrove to move to another location a couple miles east on U.S. 24, then have the filled-in spot dug out. Independence, Sugar Creek and MoDOT would then figure out exactly how to fix the culvert.
As he watched a couple young boys ride their bikes in the water over Northern – without incident, to be sure – Cleaver said a flood like this is a reason to support the statewide gas tax on the November ballot. That would mean some more money for MoDOT and a bit for local governments – and perhaps a better chance to tackle drainage and bridge issues.
If he's re-elected in November, Cleaver said he wants to push for some kind of national transportation tax that could further help agencies like MoDOT.
“We've got bridges – roads over culverts – out on the eastern part of my district, in Higginsville and places like that, where they go underwater,” Cleaver said.
The Weather Service had Kansas City for nearly 4.5 inches on Sunday, the second-wettest October day and 16th-wettest day all time in the city's 131-year period of record. The October record came on Oct. 21 in 1908 – 4.54 inches. With Tuesday's rain, KC went over 10 inches of rain for October, making it the second-wettest October on record and the just the 26th ever KC received more than 10 inches of rain in a month.
The Little Blue River near Lake City crested just below 22 feet at 10:30 a.m. Monday and dropped below the minor flood stage (18 feet) Monday evening. At 7 p.m. Tuesday it was above 13 feet and was expected to crest again Wednesday afternoon at nearly 15 feet. The Missouri River at Sibley was at nearly 26 feet late Tuesday afternoon and forecasted to crest above the moderate flood stage 29 feet early Thursday morning. The minor flood stage begins at 22 feet.
Dryer conditions return Wednesday, along with cooler temperatures, and Thursday is forecasted to be sunny.