Meeting called to redirect run-off
By Brenda L. Shelkey
The memories of the flood of 1978 aren’t far from the minds of most Underwood residents who lived through the onslaught of water that flooded portions of Underwood at the time. With the record amounts of snow this year, the winter of 2008-2009 has been destined to provide another set of memories that the area residents really would rather forget. Monday afternoon, the TeRoy Repnow sloughs began filling to capacity when the temperatures rose to a pleasant 45 to 50 degrees during the day and no longer dropped below freezing at night. City workers Jerry Radke and Tim Britton began working to prevent the rising run-off water from becoming a flood. They began pumping water from the east slough into the manhole from the storm sewer that was built after the 1978 flood with funding from the coal impact monies. The growing crew of workers blocked two culverts from emptying into the sloughs until they could get the outflow caught up, but then trouble began to brew. City Auditor Diane Schell explained that an emergency meeting of the city commission was called for Monday evening at 6 p.m. when the pump started having trouble and they realized that portions of the pipe had collapsed. Commissioners gathered near the large tractor that was pumping water via an electric submersible pump into the storm sewer. Radke stood waist-deep in the water near the slough culvert, trying to repair and replace the portions of damaged pipe. Once that mission was accomplished and the pump began working its miracles again, commissioners were given a small amount of breathing room to develop a tactical plan to keep the potential flood waters at bay.