I grew up on East State St. in Union. We were about 1/2 mile from the Bourbeuse River. Flat Creek ran behind our house, you could see the creek from our back windows. I used to hit golf balls over the creek from my back yard. Nobody ever played, roamed and caught crawfish (crawdads as we called them) in Flat Creek more than I did. Kids today won’t break my time spent on the creek, they don’t know what its like to be outdoors. Flat Creek flows to the east meeting the Bourbeuse. I often waded the creek or walked along side it to the river; to fish, catching crawdads along the way for bait. After heavy rain, the Bourbeuse would often back-up flooding Flat Creek, turning it into its own temporary river. The creative neighbor boys (guys I grew up with) including myself would take old wooden garage doors, tie some tractor inner tubes on and ……we have a raft! Those were the days! When Flat Creek flooded the fishing was excellent. When the water went down, fish were trapped in areas of the creek. The water was still deep enough for them to survive, but they became prey to the gang on East State Street.
Coming in from the east into Union, below the highway there is farm land that grew corn each year. I’m talking a big field of corn; this was on the right. On the left Wal-Mart had built their first store in Union, about 100-125 yards from the Bourbeuse. After heavy rain, there was always flooding in that corn field, turning it into a big lake.
The Army Corp of Engineers once said it would never flood Wal-Mart, or some of the areas it does in fact now flood in Union. In 1993, a massive flood did flood Wal-Mart and the athletic fields next to it.
McDonald’s restaurant in Union was built-in 1992. The flooding in the video above was from 2015. Video of Main Street (one block from where I grew up) and East State Street are shown with the flooding. The Ice Plant (owned by friends of our family and neighbor) is also seen flooded, at the end of East State St…….and East Main Street.
The Army Corp of Engineers has since learned to NEVER SAY NEVER.
One problem with flooding near cities, in and around communities where there is development, building of subdivisions and businesses; when concrete and pavement are added (and space is taken up) the rain water must go somewhere. It finds the creeks, as drainage is often directed to them. The more development, the greater the drainage issue. We often pay more for the cost of development than we first realize. Communities need to take that in consideration, build possible retaining ponds and lakes to relieve the rivers and creeks. It can be expensive, but needs to be part of the development. You can’t direct all your water to creeks and rivers and expect them to never flood. There needs to be more control, retaining ponds is only one answer, not the total answer, but it helps.
As I write, here comes more rain!