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Flash flooding not unfamiliar site for those living in south Kansas City

Posted: 9:40 PM, Jul 01, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-02 11:20:56-04
Brad Buss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flash flooding that made its way through the Kansas City area Monday morning isn't an unfamiliar site for those living in south Kansas City, Missouri.

KSHB 41's Megan Abundis caught up with neighbors and some who are experiencing homelessness who live near Indian Creek Greenway and W. 103rd Street and State Line Road.

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"The trail goes right through here — you see where it goes up, it goes underneath the bridge at State Line," said Brad Buss, who lives near the area.

Brad Buss
Brad Buss

Many people came to see the swelling Indian Creek rushing waters.


“I see some ducks swimming; they are enjoying this. This is just a lot of rapidly moving water," Buss said. "You can see a lot of debris coming down the river. There are not enough easy ways for things to drain. It’s going to be a while before these trails can be used again."

Mary Nestel, another longtime south KCMO resident and insurance agent, said the flooding kept her busy.

Mary Nestel
Mary Nestel

"My morning as an insurance agent has been a little crazy," Nestel said. "I’ve had several calls of flooded basements; I ran home to check mine. Thank God I’m OK, but living this close to the area is always a concern."

Nestel grew up in the area and has seen the flooding many times before.

"They did a project where they lowered the land under the bridge under Wornall that was supposed to help defer some of this, but some of this we are seeing; we’ve never seen it like this," Nestel said. “My main concern is some of the homeless that are living around here might be gone, and they could have been asleep under the bridge."

Jonathan Baker said he lives near the area that flooded and woke up to chest-high water in his tent.

“Yeah, it was high,” Baker said.

Jonathan Baker
Jonathan Baker

Baker said he hasn't been able to locate his partner or her dog since the flooding happened.

“A buddy of mine said he was trying to wake her up," Baker said.

Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Hopkins confirmed the department received Baker's report Monday afternoon.

Hopkins said KCFD spent two hours looking through Indian Creek using a drone but have not recovered anyone.

Nestel’s concerns also extend to knowing what debris could be coming down Indian Creek Greenway.

In January, KSHB 41 was on this part of the trail, sharing the story of a man who takes it upon himself to clean up the trail every day, picking up trash he sees people who live here leave behind.

Last year he picked up and returned 81 abandoned shopping carts.

“We’ve seen grocery carts, trash, and bedding," Nestel said. "Anything someone doesn’t want, they throw it into the homeless area. The groups that I work with think it’s the trash — the debris not getting picked up and being dumped into the sewer system that we’ve been complaining about and no one doing anything about it."