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Update on flooding in notorious Sugar Creek problem spot

sugar creek culvert.JPG
Posted at 5:51 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 06:51:54-04

SUGAR CREEK, Mo. — Monday’s heavy rains across the Kansas City area did not cause any flooding on U.S. 24 Highway at Northern Boulevard in Sugar Creek, Missouri, in part because the city cleaned out an underground culvert which it says had been clogged for years.

After years of back and forth about who is responsible for repairing the culvert and who owns it, the city of Sugar Creek filed an emergency order to dig up the parking lot above the culvert and unclog the culvert.

“With these 18-wheelers traveling down Willow [Avenue], side streets, residential areas and stuff [to detour flood waters] something is going to happen one of these days. So let’s be proactive, let’s get an emergency order, declare it for safety and health reasons, and that’s what we got done,” explained Mayor Michael Larson of Sugar Creek.

The city has yet to fill in the hole surrounding the culvert as it awaits the result of a condemnation lawsuit where it seeks to gain ownership of the property.

A man who operated a used car dealership on the property for years and was often at odds with city leaders about the culvert and flooding issue recently sold the property.

The new owner told KSHB 41 he is not interested in selling the property to the city but is willing to work with the city on a long-term fix.

A variety of other lawsuits filed by nearby property owners have recently been settled or dismissed.

The city of Independence, which is directly south of the culvert across U.S. 24 Highway, is clearing a drainage creek that feeds into the culvert.