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Businesses try to thrive one year after historic flooding at 103rd & Wornall

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-28 19:34:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The waters of Indian Creek rose to historic levels on July 27, 2017 - one year ago. The flood destroyed multiple businesses, some of which are trying to get back on their feet today.

A few of the businesses in the strip mall near 103rd and Wornall relocated down the street, closer to State Line Road, like Tavern on 103rd and the UPS Store.

Tavern is hosting a "Blame It on the Rain" flood party Friday at 8 p.m. to make light out of a terrible situation.

The owner, Bob Yancey, expects a big turn out.

Next door to Tavern, Hai Dao's business is doing well. 

"Every time it's raining, it scares me," Dao said.

Dao moved his salon, OPI Nails, into the strip mall just a couple months before the whole area flooded.

"My equipment kind of like, get hurt, had to replace all the equipment. Lost money and closing for a few days," Dao said.

He got it bad, but not as bad as Tavern and the other businesses down the street. Gutted, abandoned buildings remain of the once-thriving businesses.

Those businesses had flooded many times before, but no one expected it to get that bad.

Coach's Bar and Grill, a staple in the community, is still in the process of relocating. Two of the bar's owners were rescued from the roof of the business as the waters rose.

"Very fearful for your life if you're around that area, really close. You don't know if things are going to ever go back to the same, so it was really scary for a lot of people," Kelly Miller said, who stopped into OPI Nails on Friday.

Miller was working at Ace Hardware just across the street the day of the flood and remembers the devastation.

Dao fears it'll flood again but hopes he can stay in that location for years to come.

"Everybody who comes in, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me. Without people's support, I don't think I can survive," Dao said.

After the July 2017 flood, the city said it’d look into plans to fix the flooding situation. A year later, it appears nothing has happened.

The area flooded again August 22, and the water crested even higher than in July. Crews rescued a woman clinging to a tree in the intersection of 103rd and Wornall.

In April 2017, Kansas City voters approved bonds that would improve infrastructure and address the flooding issues, which include Indian Creek. The bond funds are expected to be matched by federal funds.

Tom Kimes, a storm water utility engineering manager for KC Water, told 41 Action News last year they would "need to widen the channel, lay the slopes back, construct channel walls so the carrying capacity of the channel walls would be increased."

The plan would cost millions and take years to finish.