Glazer: New York Storm Reminds Scribe of Disasterous Plaza Flood

Unlike Kansas City in 1977, New Yorkers were ready for the worst…

Hurricane Sandy hit, closed down the city, left 16 dead but New York was prepared for the attack. I spoke to one of my talent agents, Roger Paul this morning who lives in New York City.

“I’m safe,” he told me. “I look out my window and it looks like a scene from the TV show ‘Walking Dead’ – empty streets the subways closed, Wall Street flooded but it could have been worse. It isn’t 911.”

Paul said he expected things to all be somewhat back to normal by Wednesday.

Weather’s something outside of our control, kinda like the economy.

This morning I watched an old YouTube of Larry Moore reporting on Kansas City’s worst weather bomb in modern times, the September 1977 flood.

Nobody saw that one coming.

If you’re old enough, I’m sure you can remember where you were when it became painfully obvious that something was going horribly wrong. That hard rain turned into a death trap for many, the ending of the Plaza as we knew it for years and a total financial nightmare for thousands.

For us in Kansas City that night was no different from what New York just suffered.

No it was not a hurricane, but we got caught off guard with no warning.

I was at the Royals game with a few pals, a date and my little brother in the Stadium Club. We watched the rain fall from our dinner table to the point things started to float.

And I thought, “What the hell is going on?”

People started to leave thinking “Hope my windows are shut.”

For some reason I’d left my car near Ward Parkway at my grandparents home. Holy Christ, it seemed like the world was under an attack. Cars were floating down the street, some into store windows near and on the Plaza. My car was just several feet from the overrun Brush Creek on Ward Parkway.

It was unreal.

In its wake, the Plaza was basically destroyed for weeks. Dirty Sally’s, House of Toy and others would never bounce back. The flood had ruined storefronts and created a lasting musty odor.

It seemed like the Plaza would never be the same.

Westport was on higher ground and had its busiest weeks ever due to the fact that there was nowhere else to party in that area.

Stanford’s assistant manager Charles Sutherland‘s father had gone missing and was the last person found after the flood. His car had been sunk near Ward Parkway with him in it. He was found dead in a tree miles away. He’d gotten out but was carried to his death by the water current.

Still in time everything was fixed, somewhat forgotten and the Plaza came back bigger and better than ever, Homes along Ward Parkway were rebuilt anf people slowly forgot that tragic night and its aftermath.

As the old adage goes, time heals all wounds’ and it does. Yet we never forget those images and events as long as we live.

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12 Responses to Glazer: New York Storm Reminds Scribe of Disasterous Plaza Flood

  1. the dude says:

    Flush Creek attacks!!!!!
    And it ain’t floating turds this time!!!!!

  2. Rick Nichols says:

    To be sure, that flood caught many people totally off guard, and the mere thought of it definitely helped to put things in the proper perspective for me after the Royals fell to the Yankees in the AL playoffs less than a month later.

  3. Pat McGroin says:

    My dad owned Waldo Painting back then, and he stayed busy for a year and half after that.

    Lots of work.

    • Craig Glazer says:

      Yeah sadly for some people its a money maker, we at Stanfords had a great 78 due to the flooded Plaza, but nothing we ever wanted to happen..so yeah in New York some will get rich off the damage.

      • Pat McGroin says:

        I hear you.

        It wasnt like dad prayed for a disaster, but his skills helped bring back some of the beauty and life after the fact.

        All the best in recovering to those affected by the mess.

  4. mark smith says:

    I was living on 80th and madison back then. That open storm drainage creek that ran through the area was filling the streets. I seem to recall Alaskan or one of the fur companies and a few of the jewellery stores got looted. People were finding their cars in crazy places. Was a hellava flood.

  5. fred says:

    i was also at royals staduim the night og the flood. royals bottom of the first are first 2 guys made an out then brett walked. he wasnt on first 60 seconds when the rain started really coming down. the umps stopped the game and brett hauled ass to the dugout. it took me 3 and a half hours to get to the 95th and metcalf area.

  6. chuck says:

    This article has triggered fluvial remembrences, obfuscated by time and age. Was not the blame for this disaster assigned to the construction boom in Johnson County? To wit, the increase in concrete out to the South West and subsequent flooding with any downpour in Misouri?

    Was this a catalyst for the expansion of Brush Creek East?

    I know it rained it’s azz off, and I know that I was often in my cups at Dirty Sally’s (That chick was supposed to have a Dirty Sally’s in Vegas too, remember Glaze?), but I am hazy on some of the details, especially as the story of the Plaza Flood matriculated.

    Details?

    Anyone who was sober then?

  7. Super Dave says:

    After not getting any sleep for almost 3 days straight and working ass off for two weeks app 20 hours a day after that I can say this is nothing like what New York or New Orlean’s suffered. In fact till I saw this story here neither storm made me think of the flash floods of 1977. Ward Parkway and The Plaza is just a drop in the bucket of the areas flooded and effected that night. Plus I know for a fact a lot of this damage could have been avoided if a certain KCFD supervisor had listen to information given to them and had forward through proper channels. There was advance notice on the possible flooding issue and several hours notice could have been given here as well.

    • expat says:

      Then again NYC has been warned for years that a this was a likely event and apparently nothing was done to plan for it. People were making noise about that possibility since at least the early 2000s.

  8. harley says:

    chuck may have been right…(can you imagine me saying that).
    I do recall that they said brush creek was a smooth surface and added to
    the flow of water coming from joco.
    But remember…the plaza is in a huge valley…look at madison street going
    north..look at ward parkway and is downward tilt to the plaza..
    all the water from joco..from the area south and north of the plaza came rushing into
    the plaza at one time.
    Good friends of ours was killed in one of the creeks that crossed the
    streets in prairie village. sad.
    But these extreme weather conditions are becoming the normal and not
    the exception.
    maybe we will have to discuss the way we’ve ruined the earth and think
    about how we are destrying our planet.

  9. middle aged men in kc says:

    Glazer “The Scribe” writes; :I spoke to one of my talent agents, Roger Paul …”

    So if Roger Paul gets $10.00 per year as one of Glazer’s talent agents, and the other one, Paul Rogers, is paid the same, then those two need at least 1500 Glazer-sized accounts to make half of the money needed to avoid the label of “below the poverty line” …….