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Archive for Friday, August 13, 1993

S STREAK OF BAD LUCK CAME EARLY WITH JULY STORMSFLOODS

August 13, 1993

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It's Friday the 13th, but Lawrence residents don't want to hear any talk about bad luck.

They say Lawrence already had more than its share of bad luck with the flooding and stormy weather that ravaged the city this summer.

"I think we've had enough bad luck," said Roger Kuker, owner of Roger's Food Center, 608 N. Second. "We've got nothing but good coming now. That's how I'm looking at the day."

This summer's flooding didn't spare Kuker's store when it inundated several North Lawrence homes and businesses. But that wasn't the extent of the bad luck: A broken storm sewer line created a gaping hole at North Second and Locust streets, and it's been detouring traffic for more than two months.

With thunderstorms in tonight's weather forecast, Kuker said there's only one thing that would truly make this an unlucky day.

"About another six inches of rain," Kuker said. "They'd never be able to pump it away fast enough. We'd have a lake over here again."

Lawrence City Commissioner Bob Moody agreed that Lawrence has had its share of bad luck.

"That's the understatement of 1993," Moody said. "I think we've had enough ill fortune to last us for the next 13 years, and if we could stretch that out to 113 years, that'd be great."

On a personal level, Moody said his Friday-the-13th bad luck may have arrived a day early. He learned Thursday that it would cost about $2,000 to repair his car.

Then again, maybe Moody has more bad luck in store for him.

"I've got family coming in from out of town today," he joked.

"I'm not the superstitious type, but I'm not taking any chances," Moody added, saying he hadn't made any big plans. He only had one meeting scheduled for today and planned to spend most of his time organizing paperwork at home.

Lawrence school board member Mary Loveland said the school district doesn't need any more bad luck either.

Construction workers planned to start site work on two new Lawrence elementary schools as soon as the board contracted with them in July. However, continuous rains and the resulting soggy ground allowed the workers to work only half a day out of the first 20 possible work days.

"When we had that report, that was really worrysome because we're on a really tight schedule for opening the elementary schools," Loveland said.

The ground finally dried, and district officials think the schools can open in August 1994 as planned.

Loveland said the district had some more bad luck when a huge Elm tree at Lawrence High School was downed by stormy weather, damaging several feet of guttering and breaking seven windows.

If the thunderstorms forecast for tonight actually hit Lawrence, she hopes the district doesn't see any more building damage.

"We don't need any surprises this close to the start of the school year," Loveland said.

Classes start Aug. 25.

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