Historic Howard County mansion starts assessing damage

Missouri River is slowly falling

Historic mansion in Howard County starts to assess damages from flooding

HOWARD COUNTY, Mo. - The owner of Rivercene Mansion saw his home for the first time yesterday after the floodwater came into his home a few weeks ago.

After historic flooding in Howard County overtopped several Missouri River levees in the area, home and businesses including Rivercene Mansion were evacuated.

"To come back here and to see it like this is surreal, and even though I look and I see it, it's still not real," Upp said. "I fee like tomorrow I'm going to be pinched and wake up." 

He said the water was about 8 inches on the first floor and as of Friday was still almost to the ceiling in the basement weeks after the flooding began.

"In order to get the house livable again, the first floor is a total rehab," Upp said.

Now it becomes another waiting game until they can start rebuilding.

"The biggest thing now is try to ... prevent any further damage," Upp said. "But our problem we're running into now is actually getting into the house, so we can't start any construction or demo or getting stuff out because you can't get to the house." 

The river is now slowly falling, with releases from upstream reservoirs preventing any rapid drop below flood stage. 

The only way to get to the house right now is by walking across the closed Missouri River bridge to Boonville, then across levees leading to the property.

An insurance agent was looking at the damage Friday, but Upp has an idea of what will happen. He had the most insurance coverage available and will likely get the maximum payout because of the extent of the flooding, Upp said.

The property was insured for flooding under FEMA, but that doesn't mean they are in the clear. "We are just really hoping that insurance is going to cover it, but insurance doesn't cover everything you think it should," Upp said.

Upp said other people in his community were also displaced by the flood, and believes there should be more help from the government,.

"Even though you have insurance, it only covers so much... We need a faster response to declare emergencies so that people can get the help," Upp said.

FEMA teams came to Mid-Missouri this week to assess damage from recent tornadoes and flooding. Howard is among the counties FEMA is assessing for individual assistance, which goes to people who lost property in a disaster. 

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