Emporia Flood Waters Hurt Business And Agriculture

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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW)-Emporia is still under flood warning. Even though water receded some Tuesday, the damage has already been done.

The most recent National Weather Service report measured the Cottonwood River at 24.5 feet Tuesday morning.

A week of heavy rains has sprouted a rough patch for Emporia farmers.

" You know, you are looking at $25,000 right there," says Lyon County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources with K-State Research and Extension, Brian Rees, as he looks at thousands of acres of soy bean and corn crops damaged by flood waters.

"It's a pretty sick feeling because you are looking at someone's livelihood, sorta like going in and having your business or place of work taken away from you," says Rees.

Flood waters have receded at the Cottonwood River and the drop was enough to put the Fanestil Meats plant back in business Tuesday.
High waters forced it to close over the weekend.

The owner declined to comment on camera for 13 News, but he says the flood caused an inconvenience for his 70 employees and meat packing will be delayed one day.

Kent Heerman of Emporia's Chamber of Commerce says it's a worry Fanestil will leave behind when it relocates this Fall.

"Fanestils is probably one of the last businesses we have in the flood plains and once they get out of there its not a huge issue," says Heerman.

But, the issue now is drying out from a flood Rees says has already cost farmers plenty.

"It very quickly gets into the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars," says Rees.

KDOT crews have kept K-99 south of Emporia closed and they say they can't open it until the road is safe for drivers.