Flash flooding causes water rescues and road closures in St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – Heavy rains and flash flooding affected the St. Louis area on Tuesday.

At 3:30 a.m., first responders blocked all lanes of eastbound Interstate 64 near Grand. It reopened shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday. On Interstate 55, drivers were diverted from the freeway before Potomac. Interstate 44 eastbound is the third highway affected. All lanes have been closed in Hampton

Just after 6 a.m., the St. Louis Fire Department reported several cars stuck on Interstate 44 near Jefferson Avenue.

Drivers had to find an alternate route on Interstate 70 eastbound near Natural Bridge and Jennings Station Road. Additionally, Interstate 70 was closed in both directions near the Mid Rivers Mall in St. Charles.

Cpl. Dallas Thompson with the Missouri Highway Patrol recommended that drivers not travel on highways in St. Louis and St. Charles counties until the end of the morning commute to allow the water to recede.

Several streets in University City, Maplewood, St. Louis County and St. Louis City were deemed impassable. News 4 Damon Arnold spotted several cars stuck in flooded roads with water up to the door handles.

The National Weather Service said the area had broken the all-time daily rainfall record since August 1915, when 8.06 inches of rain was seen as of 7 a.m.

Crews rescued 6 people and 6 dogs after 18 homes flooded in the 2700 block of Hermitage Avenue near Ellendale. Fifteen residents chose to shelter in place. Andrew Schafer saved his family and dogs from his home as water seeped into his basement “like a waterfall”.

“I took my three dogs, my three kids and my wife. It happened about seven years ago,” Schafer said. He told News 4 he was returning to his neighborhood to help others trapped.

The parking lot at the Winding Creek Apartments Reserve was completely submerged in water, trapping residents. About 15 to 16 people were trapped inside as lifeboats brought residents to safety. About 150 residents had to be rescued in total.

A Ferguson woman rescued a neighbor after hearing her cries for help. Brittany Duwe was walking through her flooded basement early Tuesday when she heard screams. She said she looked out the window and noticed a woman stuck on top of her car as the floodwaters rose. Duwe then intervened and saved the woman, who was said to be fine.

Westover apartments in University City, residents were evacuated. The resort parking lot was like a river and the cars were submerged. Patrick Huber said his historic college home was damaged when the water got to the first floor.

The Maryland Heights Community Center opened as an emergency shelter for residents. The HEIGHTS Community Center in Richmond Heights on Dale Avenue has opened its doors to displaced residents and is a haven for those who need to stay overnight. The College Town School District is advising families displaced by flooding to go to relief sites in Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing or Brittany Woods.

Residents of St. Charles County were asked to stay home Tuesday morning after 911 dispatchers were overwhelmed by the number of water rescue calls.

Stray Paws Rescue in St. Peters told News 4 that all of their puppies drowned. Their adult dogs are doing well and the shelter is asking for donations.

The Gateway Arch was closed all day due to flooding caused by record rainfall. Anyone with a pre-purchased ticket for the Tram Ride to the Top or the Documentary Film will be refunded as soon as possible.

In the Metro East, Scott Air Force Base announced a delayed opening. The Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville campus released a statement explaining that they will be closed until further notice.

St. Clair County Animal Services was flooded with dogs standing in the water. They ask people to help adopt a dog or cat for at least a week.

MetroTransit advised riders that passengers could experience up to two hours of delays for MetroBus, MetroLink and Call-A-Ride service. MetroLink station shuttles were transporting bus passengers between the following MetroLink stations due to flooding:

  • Lambert Airport and Central West Ends Stations
  • University City-Big Bend and Central West End stations

A train at Delmar Loop Station sustained significant damage. Metro says normal MetroLink service may not be restored for two weeks. To learn more about metro delays, click here.

Le Muny has canceled Tuesday night’s performance of Legally Blonde, The Musical due to flooding in Forest Park. The postponed performance will take place on August 1 at 8:15 p.m. Le Muny said all tickets for Tuesday night’s show will automatically carry over to the August performance.


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