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Thursday, September 16, 2010

33rd Anniversary of The KC-MO "Plaza Flood" That Killed 25


W
hen late on the night of September 13 1977 it became apparent that the flash flooding around Metro Kansas City had become deadly- KMBC-TV Channel 9 came on the air and stayed on all night with breaking information.



To my knowledge- KMBC was the ONLY station of 'The Big 3 (WDAF-4- KCMO-5 the other two)' to broadcast that fateful night.






I never forgot that and for years afterwards- KMBC was my go-to station for breaking news (until I dived head-first into the business in early 1991).




Courtesy of the KMBC archives- this is a YouTube 4-part presentation of a special news program that aired after the 10 p.m. news the night of September 16 1977.

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1 comment:

Clillali Unknown said...

I remember that day very, very well. We lived at 2711 Holly, next door to the BF Goodrich retread plant, 1 block East of SW Blvd at 27th St. There are two distinct memories I have of this flood - 1) boats rescuing employees from 5 story buildings, 1 block Southwest of our house and, 2) the takeover of our home and neighborhood in the months following of sewer rats the size of small-medium sized dogs. One middle of the night a few days after the flood, I descended the stairs on my way to the bathroom, and was confronted by what seemed to be hundreds of red dots suspended mid-air over our dining room table. I turned the dining room light on and it was sheer horror. Rats everywhere, all over the table, on the floor, hissing and bearing front teeth that resembled a beaver's. For what seemed like an eternity, I was a mute. Finally, the scream pierced through my airways, sending my mother scrambling downstairs to rescue me. She froze...for roughly 5 seconds, then sprang into the kitchen, picked up a butcher knife, yelled for me to get the broom and beat them. "We can't let them get to the baby, they'll kill him" she said. Intense fear overtook my body and it wouldn't budge. I watched as she slashed and stabbed them, blood splattering everywhere, including on me. Death, bloodshed permeated my nostrils, making me queasy and ill to my stomach. She screamed "as soon as I get through the kitchen door, slam it as hard as you can!" She runs toward me...now!" She no sooner got her back foot in the door and I heaved it with every ounce of strength I had. These beasts were right on her tail and we both leaned up against the door as they tried to push their way in. We heard growling and scampering...everywhere. They ran into the bathroom, hoping for an entrance into the kitchen, to no avail. I was bawling, running upstairs, as she ordered me "lock the back door!" They were climbing the stairs, clawing at the door, when I got to it. All of my siblings woke up at this point and terrified chaos ensued. They scrambled onto the roof, looking for any entry point to the upstairs level. We were imprisoned in our own home. Mom said "the flood pushed them out of the sewers, they're starving and looking for food." An awful thought occurred to me; that's what happened to some of our cats the past few years. The City of Kansas City Police drove through the neighborhoods announcing into megaphones "stay inside, lock all doors, windows, and block any open spaces. We're fumigating the area and will let you know when it's safe to come out." Mom and my oldest brother crept downstairs to the kitchen pantry to retrieve vegetables she had canned just a few weeks earlier. There's no record of the infestation that I have ever been able to find. The City took extensive measure to "hide" it. After all, what business or family would dare move there knowing that. True. Every word. Linda