EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO - The charming, late Victorian-era Town is renowned for its remarkable varieties of mineral waters. The Town is located in the northeast portion of Missouri along the Fishing River, about 30 miles northeast of Kansas City. Floods and flash floods have devastated Excelsior Springs many times. In 1993 severe flash floods devastated the town causing extensive damage. Residents were evacuated. Streets were closed. Homes were destroyed. Cars, furniture, appliances all were swept away. Every public building was flooded.
With financial support from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grants program, Excelsior Springs has taken measures to mitigate against future costly floods. The Town applied for and received $1.3 million to buy homes from those who wanted to move out of harm's way. Using these mitigation funds from FEMA and HUD, the Town purchased 61 residential properties. Structures were cleared from the floodplain and green space remains. Wildlife has been sighted in places where it didn't reside before.
This project has been a great success for the Town of Excelsior Springs. In 1998, the Town experienced three floods, but they did not impact the community as they had in the past. Very little damage occurred. Costs of warning, rescue, and evacuation were avoided. Building repairs and personal property losses were far less costly. Cleanup is easier and faster when it's just mud and not automobiles or furniture.
All 61 structures that were removed from the floodplain would have been flooded and extensively damaged during the most recent flooding in October 1998. Above all else, the residents of Excelsior Springs are safer now.