People in Carter County, MO continue to deal with flooding woes

People in Carter County, MO continue to deal with flooding woes

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It's a mental scar in the minds of those who live in Carter County that will last forever: the devastating record flooding that occurred last April.

"Scars make us strong," Carter County Sheriff Richard Stephens said. "And this situation I have no doubt in my mind we will overcome it and be stronger through it and wiser. We'll be able to look at it and take these challenges that we've faced over the last six to eight months and put them to work so that it makes us more efficient in the future."

Stephens said the county is rebounding slowly, but surely.

"It's a tough road but people are binding together and centered on the common goal of making Van Buren and Carter County successful again," Stephens said.

Some buildings and homes have already been fixed up while others are still in the waiting period.

Facilities like the Carter County Sheriff's Office and the Carter County Courthouse are still uninhabited and need more work.

"The building (sheriff's office) is damaged beyond repair so it will have to be torn down," Stephens said. "As far as the geographical location, we are really wanting to go to a place that's not right in the middle of the flood zone."

The courthouse was filled with eight feet of water while the sheriff's office had water throughout the entire building.

"Right now we are looking at architects, and so forth, to try to rebuild the courthouse so that we can get the downtown area of Van Buren revitalized and get the office holders back in their permanent space," Stephens added.

Stephens said he hopes they will be able to reopen the courthouse in six months to a year.

As far as the residents, Stephens feels they are resilient and they can overcome anything thrown their way.

"When I moved to this area, that is one thing I noticed about the people in this area is that, regardless of the situation, we are going to pick each other up and we're going to progress and we are going to solve our problems and successfully end up on the other side," Stephens added.

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