What Roger Sutter and Chuck Scholz remember 20 years ago

aerial view of the levee break

It was 20 years ago on July 16th that the levee protecting West Quincy Missouri was compromised.

When water rushed through the break in the levee it flooded thousands of acres of farmland and cut off the only access to Missouri for a hundred miles in each direction.

"I think it would have held had it not been for the deranged acts of Mr. Scott," Former Quincy mayor Chuck Scholz said. He called it a heroic flood fighting effort that summer.

Meanwhile in West Quincy, Roger Sutter, is now the president of the Fabius River Drainage District. He also worked on the West Quincy levee's back in 1993.

Sutter said that even though the river reached a record level, he feels the flood fighting efforts in West Quincy were enough to hold the river back and keep the Bayview bridge open. He said the night of the levee break, everything looked good.

"I had walked the section from the memorial bridge to the pumping station that evening and everything I saw looked in really good shape, the levee looked fine, I mean it looked really good that night on the section I was on," Sutter said.

For both Scholz and Sutter, they agree that cooperation between many entities is what was a key part of that summer. Sandbag filling operations based in Quincy provided relief to all parts of the area.

"I think what it taught us was that the river doesn't separate us, it does bring us together. And now 20 years later I can see a lot of blessings that came out of that in terms of regional cooperation and the way it showed the character of the people here," Scholz said.

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