Community Member

Citizens’ Committee For Flood Relief

De Soto, Missouri

Flooding in De Soto, 2016.

Founded in 2016, the Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief (CCFR) in De Soto, MO urgently works toward one goal: a sustainable future. Extreme flooding, 15 high-hazard dams upstream, and the presence of Superfund sites illustrate the immediate need for solutions. De Soto had six flood events in a 5-year period (2013 to 2017), resulting in three deaths and severe destruction of property and habitat. Working with pro bono experts, CCFR has helped secure a floodplain management plan and a flash flood warning system. They’ve also received grants to implement green infrastructure to manage floodwaters, improve the commercial district, and provide recreational opportunities. The CCFR continues pushing elected leaders to do the right things: to prevent dangerous “fill and build” construction practices that leave more families vulnerable to flooding, to secure funding for buyouts, and to implement natural solutions to absorb floodwater.

“They had no warning.” Susan Liley and Paula Arbuthnot describe the perils of flash flooding in De Soto, Missouri.

The Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief, founded after disastrous and deadly flooding, has advocated for viable strategies to protect the community from devastating floods going forward. To this end, the CCFR has worked with pro bono and government experts to produce multiple flood studies, a floodplain management plan, and a flash flood warning system, in addition to securing grants for nature-based solutions to manage floodwater. The CCFR is composed of five members, led by founder Susan Liley, and engages in broader community outreach through public meetings and education. Alongside this community outreach, the CCFR brings together a coalition of city, county, state, and federal agencies to find effective ways to protect the residents and businesses of DeSoto towards the town’s revitalization.

A study published by the US Army Corps of Engineers Silver Jackets program illustrates the expanded floodplain in De Soto.

For more information:

De Soto residents asked to stay alert for flash flooding – FOX 2 NOW, March 2023

In De Soto, we need a way out of repeated flooding – Missouri Independent, January 2023

Trapped in harm’s way as disasters mount – The Center for Public Integrity, August 2022

New pond could reduce De Soto flooding – KMOV4, July 2022

Survivors Recount Harrowing Battles Against Flooding – Medium, June 2020

30 minutes with Susan Liley, Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief, De Soto MO

De Soto Officials Knocked on Doors to Warn Residents as Rising Creek Caused Flood Scare – KSDK-TV, January 2020

Assessing Flooding and Hydrodynamics for Community Preparedness and Revitalization – Thriving Earth Exchange

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Susan Liley
Mail donations to:
13923 Vineland Rd.
De Soto, MO 63020

Social Media

Climate Impacts


Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Groundwater Contamination, Lead Contamination, Noise/Light Pollution, Sewage/Sewage Treatment, Superfund Sites


Elevation or Relocation of Homes, Halting Bad Development, Nature-Based Solutions

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations