Not everyone can build a mighty fortress to protect themselves from a flood, but a construction company tends to have the necessary equipment and materials on hand. Hamm Quarries, Construction and Asphalt, Inc., took advantage of that fact by building a dirt wall around the central office in Perry.
Perry Lake officials began releasing water at a rate of 5,000 cubic feet per second Saturday into the Delaware River, which feeds into the already swollen Kansas River. Perry residents were warned of the possibility that flooding could result, and many chose to evacuate to higher ground.
Hamm executives chose instead to take a stand against the rising river.
Charlie Sedlock, manager at the company, said workers constructed a 6-foot high dirt wall that tapers from about 20 feet wide at the bottom to about 3 feet wide at the top. A metal staircase enables employees to climb over the mountain to reach their offices.
"We're just taking extra precautions to protect the central office," he said. "We have the equipment because we are a construction company, so it was easy for us."
While Sedlock expressed concern about flooding in Perry, he said the landfill operated by Hamm and utilized by Jefferson and Douglas counties wasn't in danger.
"The landfill is at a quite high elevation on a hill that comes up out of the flood plain," he said. "We don't have any plans to change operations."
The main entrance to the landfill is on U.S. Highway 24. If flood waters should limit use of the road, alternate entrances to the landfill would be accessible, Sedlock said.