Pump station keeps standing water at bay in Alexandria

Alexandria, Missouri, home to fewer than 200 Missourians, is vulnerable to heavy flooding.

The community saw 1.5 inches of rain Wednesday. That doesn't seem like much but hundreds of thousands of gallons of standing water and the potential for this main road to be flooded frustrates the community.

"It's something we deal with almost annually," Des Moines Mississippi Levee District Number 1 President John Winkelman said. "Last year, we had the fourth highest river on record."

He said flooding plagued the area until 2008 when a pump station was constructed.

"It's a KSB pump," Winkelman explained. "It's totally automated. It kicks on and off by gauges The second pump house we have is cascade. It's also electric. It's run by 250 horse power electric motor and the third building is a diesel. It's a peerless, 42-inch diesel operated pump."

It's all controlled by a desktop computer.

"From the amount of rain to the ditch levels," Pump Operator Danny Colwell said. "The pumps and their systems have alarms that will kick on and off when any pump kicks on kicks off."

He comes into work every day even though he can monitor the system from his home.

"We pump approximately 140- to 148,000 gallons of water per minute. That'll fill a bathtub up pretty fast!" Colwell said.

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