Kansas City, MO Flash Flooding, Sep 1977
WATERS RECEDE; 19 DEAD.
Kansas City (AP) -- The flood waters receded today as quickly as they rose, leaving at least 19 dead, 1,200 homeless and property damage estimated at more than $30 million. The fate of about 15 people still was unknown.
The legacy of 12 inches of rain in 24 hours was devastation in the expensive shops of the city's Country Club Plaza, tedious cleanup along Brush Creek and the Blue River, and worry over the fate of those still listed as missing.
The damage, like the metropolitan area, crossed state borders and the governors of Missouri and Kansas each planned to ask federal disaster aid.
Still, because the shopping area is so well known,
its Christmas lighting has been depicted in dozens of magazines, the flood is likely to become known as the "Country Club Plaza Flood."
The damage was awesome. Preliminary estimates in the metropolitan area showed 65 businesses damaged or destroyed; 228 houses, 150 apartments and 500 mobile homes suffering at least some damage.
"It's devastating," said Missouri Gov. Joseph Teasdale, a Kansas City native, after a 2 1/2 hour tour of the area. "I hope I can get as much money as I can for the people who have been hurt."
Gov. Robert F. Bennett of Kansas pronounced the need critical after his two-hour tour, which included a shopping center in suburban Mission where one store alone estimated $500,000 in lost merchandise.
At the height of the storm Monday night, 2,600 had to flee their homes. The rain stopped by the next midday and 1,400 were able to return.
For the rest there were shelters, like the Salvation Army center able to accommodate 300. But most were able to move in with friends and the center had only 35 overnight guests.
Damge to public property in Kansas City alone was estimated at nearly $5.25 million.
By Wednesday, electric service had been restored to the 35,000 homes that experienced outages. It was the same with gas and water, but some telephones were not in service early today.
COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA HIT HARDEST.
Kansas City, Mo. (AP) -- The disaster that wracked Kansas City this week is likely to become known as the "Country Club Plaza Flood."
Only two of those killed were in the Plaza, a pie-shaped area roughly six blocks long, when the flash flood hit.
But the plush area, built around what is believed to be the oldest shopping center in the world, was among the hardest hit by the flooding that followed a 24-hour rainstorm.
Besides water damage to area shops, apartments and homes, an explosion and fire destroyed nearly an entire block of the center. Officials said the explosion resulted from a buildup of natural gas, possibly caused when a pilot light was extinguished.
Most of the center's five decades have been devoted to providing quality goods and services. Because its big department stores and 150 specialty shops were loaded with the chic and costly, the monetary loss per square foot will be staggering.
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