During last week's Waynesville City Council meeting, hydrologists from the University of Science and Technology presented their analysis regarding the August 2013 flood.
Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman said about a week after the flood, the City hired this team to analyze the event and look for ways to make the city safer and more flood-proof, especially the Mitchell Creek area.
The team of hydrologists included Dr. Chuck Morris, a professor from Missouri S&T, engineer and hydrologist; Dr. Paul Munger, professor from Missouri S&T, engineer and hydrologist; and Todd Dablemont, professional engineer with a masters in hydrology. The team is from the Benton and Associates consulting engineer firm.
Dablemont said that after the team analyzed the size of the storm that swept the Pulaski County area on Aug.6, they concluded it was a "100-year storm" after looking at the Mitchell Creek and Roubidoux Creek watersheds.
"What a 100-year storm means is there is a 1 percent probability of it occurring each year," Dablemont said. "It is a probability, not a prediction, based on historical records."
Dr. Chuck Morris reported to the council about how climate change is a contributing factor to larger natural disasters, like the August 2013 flood.
"What we're finding out is we're getting more severe events all over the United States," he said. "What that says to me is this event that you've experienced here is probably going to happen more frequently than the 1 percent [every year]. We're in a cycle of climate where things are occurring much more violently and much more severely than what history shows."
Morris also talked about what the City can do to reduce flooding in the future.
"We can't eliminate the flooding, but we can reduce the flooding and there are two main ways we can do that," Morris said. "The first way is to reduce the amount of water running down Mitchell Creek during severe events. Or we can increase the amount of water that the creek can carry."
Morris said the team recommends adding a detention area on the south side of I-44 that could serve as a recreation area when the creek water is not high.
The team also recommended increasing the amount the creeks can hold by removing all the gravel and obstructions in the streams, and stabilizing the creek through natural processes.
"If we do our job right we can improve the aesthetics from the stream," Morris said.
Morris said that this study will help the City receive funding from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
As of now, the City is looking into the hydrologists recommendations and the hydrologists will be meeting next at the October Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Page 2 of 2 - "None of us on this board want to see what happened on Aug. 6 ever happen again," Hardman said.
"We need to work on this and we need to do what we can to make this better. When you have 4000 acres of uncontrolled, unregulated water rushing down into the City of Waynesville, something needs to be done."