Clarksville looks to fund LEGO-like flood defense

Clarksville, Missouri mayor wants to see new flood protection system

Clarksville mayor Jo Anne Smiley has seen seven floods since taking office.

This year was one of the worst on record as water levels reached the maximum flood stage of 33 feet.

Smiley said sandbags and other defense systems just don't cut it.

"Each of the systems had some kind of negative thing as far as we were concerned until we came upon EKO,â?? Smiley said.

EKO is a flood defense system that works kind of like LEGOS. Hollow steel pieces are stacked on each other, letting water fill up the middle. This creates a weighted, water-tight seal.

The pieces are easy to put together, and assembly would only take about a day.

Other cityâ??s in the United States are also using the EKO system. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville uses them, as well as various parts of New York.

Smiley has been pushing for the system for the last three years.

"Approval is one thing, getting the money there is another thing,â?? she said.

Smiley says she has contacted several entities to try and drum up the money.

"We have a lot of people that are seeing, no one has yet come and said we've found,â?? Smiley said.

For now, Smiley says she will keep trying. She hopes to see a working EKO system before the year 2019. That year marks the towns 200th birthday.