One dead after record rain causes heavy flooding in Saint-Louis area


O’FALLON, Mo. – Record rainfall caused widespread flash flooding in the St. Louis area early Tuesday, killing one person, displacing many others and prompting rescues from vehicles and homes.

One person died when a car in St. Louis was found covered in more than 8 feet of water. Several puppies drowned when a building flooded at Stray Paws Adoptables, a stray dog ​​rescue in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis. Firefighters aboard boats rescued other dogs from the building.

Damage in the area was widespread after a massive downpour dropped more than 12 inches of rain in parts of St. Charles County and up to 10 inches elsewhere in the St. Louis metro area. Most of the rains fell within a few hours shortly after midnight.

By noon, about 9 inches of rain had fallen on Lambert Airport, shattering the previous daily record of 6.85 inches set on August 20, 1915, when hurricane remnants moved from Galveston, Texas, to north to Saint-Louis. Forecasters were expecting more thunderstorms throughout the week.

First responders carry an elderly woman evacuated from her home after flooding inundated the neighborhood on July 26, 2022.
PA
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding on a closed Interstate 70 at Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell overnight and into the morning of Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding on a closed Interstate 70 at Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell overnight and into the morning.
PA

Firefighters were busy with water rescues. Sections of highways 70, 64, 55 and 44 were all closed at various times as water flooded the roads. Some motorists have taken to social media to report being blocked for hours.

In the city of St. Louis, firefighters rescued people from several homes after floodwaters entered homes. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson told a news conference that many homes suffered significant damage and some roofs were collapsing under the weight of the water.

Across the region, firefighters and other first responders rescued more than 100 people, mostly vehicles trying to cross water-covered roads.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of cars that have been all the way to the door and also all the way to the roof in some of these low areas,” Jenkerson said.

A tow truck driver moves to clean a flooded car as another drives along Interstate 70 at Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell Monday night and Tuesday morning 26 July 2022. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Sections of several highways were closed as water covered the roads.
PA

The water was over the roof of a car found just after 10 a.m. in a neighborhood near Forest Park. One person was removed but pronounced dead. Their identity has not been revealed.

In the town of Brentwood, St. Louis County, residents were forced to evacuate when Deer Creek overflowed. Rising waters also threatened homes in Ladue, one of Missouri’s wealthiest towns.

The flooding was so severe that the iconic Gateway Arch closed for the day.

Steven Bertke and his dog Roscoe are taken to dry land by St. Louis firefighters who used a boat to rescue people from their flooded homes on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (David Carson /St.Louis Post -Shipping via AP)
Steven Bertke and his dog Roscoe are taken to land by St. Louis firefighters who used a boat to rescue people from their flooded homes on July 26, 2022.
PA
John Ward, left, and a firefighter help Lynn Hartke through flash flooding on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
John Ward, left, and a firefighter help Lynn Hartke through flash flooding on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis.
PA

National Weather Service meteorologist Marshall Pfahler said a storm stalled over the St. Louis area around midnight and continued to pour water in the same relatively narrow band.

“You have this strip up to 10 inches, and a county or two to the south they had a trace or even less,” Pfahler said.

Aerial photo of heavy flooding in the Saint-Louis region
Entire neighborhoods in the Saint-Louis area were submerged due to heavy flooding.
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department

The remarkable rainfall followed a prolonged dry spell in the region. The ground was rock hard before Tuesday morning and Pfahler said that may have played a small role in the flash flooding. A bigger factor, he said, was that the storm hit a metropolitan area with lots of concrete and asphalt, rather than grassy areas that could absorb moisture more easily.

While the St. Louis area was hardest hit, other locations were also drenched. The central Missouri city in Mexico received more than 6 inches of rain. Similar precipitation totals were reported in parts of southern Illinois.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe declared a state of emergency. He was acting on behalf of Governor Mike Parson, who is on an international trip to promote trade.

New York Post

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