Brookport looks for financing options to pay for broken flap gate

One thing the city of Brookport doesn't need right now is more rain. Homeowner Robert Schnaare told Local 6 the thought of the city's flap gate bursting brings back memories of Flood 2011.

"That always scares people around here," Schnaare said of the flooding potential.

Since the 2013 tornado, Schnaare built up his home, a flood insurance requirement for anyone moving back in.  He lives a block from the flood wall, which brings an uneasy feeling when the water rises.

"This is kind of the worst place to be," he said, pointing to the proximity of his yard to the levee.

The Army Corps of Engineers gave the city a $150,000 to $200,000 estimate to repair the broken flap gate.  Mayor John Klaffer said there is no money in reserves, let alone money to pay for any kind of matching grant. "We don't. We don't. Not even to maintain what we have," Klaffer said.

The city filled out various applications at the state and federal level and has even asked for an emergency declaration. Klaffer has not heard back, but he hopes the city is thrown a financial lifeline soon. "They know that this a critical situation here so it's being pushed as much as it can be pushed," he told Local 6.

There is currently a three-foot buffer that's keeping the water from going over the flap gate. Klaffer said that is not much wiggle room. With rain on the way, Schnaare is anxiously waiting to see if the sandbags hold.

"I think that's a fear for about anybody who lives here," he said.

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