City of New Haven has plan in place and prepared for any potential threat of flooding

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Yesterday I spoke with Steve Roth, City Administrator about the possibilities, preparedness and potential of flooding for New Haven.

Quick:  What preparations have the city taken if river levels rise to dangerous levels?

Roth:  We have at least 500 tons of sand and close to 100,000 sandbags according to Julius.  We have plenty of sand to get started if need be.  We also held a meeting this morning (June 16th) and Gary Rice volunteered to be in charge of sandbagging operations.  We are really grateful for Rice, he has a lot of experience in sand bagging while living in Clarksville, five and a half weeks were spent sandbagging building nearly a 9 foot wall in with Rice lead most of Clarksville's sandbagging operations.

Quick:  We know already due to the Gavins Point Dam's flood gates wide open is causing the Missouri River to rise.  What are some of your concerns if we would have an above average amount of rain?

Roth:  An Above average rainfall could put river levels around 33 feet based on The National Weather Service prediction but it also depends on how much above average precipitation, essentially it all comes down to numbers.  Our levee tops out at a river level of 38 feet

Quick: What is your biggest fear or concern.

Roth:  My biggest fear would be a flash flood, what I mean by this is; lets say we have a steady rise of the river and steady rain over about a week or so and the river is at 32 feet for example.  Then further up stream between Hermann and Columbia or even further up stream for example and they get large amounts of rain in the 4 to 6 inch range.  It would be hard for us to handle with that much water coming up in such a short period of time.

Quick:  When might the city begin filling sandbags?

Roth:  There is really no magic number but if we have above rainfall and weather predictions indicate heavy rainfalls upstream.  There are really two decisions in my opinion, when do you start filling sandbags in advance? If the river is at about 30 feet and we fell it will stay there, we should probably be filling sandbags.  Then there is the decision when you just have to go to protect the safety of those sandbagging. 

If the time would come and volunteers would be need to help sandbag all media outlets would be notified, TV, Radio and QuickNewHavenNews.  You can also email Roth to be placed on an email list.

The very second sandbaggers are needed information will be posted on as well.  We will keep you up to date the second we are provided information.