14 September 2008

Ike's Rain Causes Flooding, Damage

It was a slightly altered path from what the National Weather Service storm forecasters had thought, but the remnants of what had been Hurricane-then-Tropical Storm-then-Tropical Depression Ike, dumped enough rain upon the bi-state region to cause water rescues, lane restrictions and highway closures --- and that is not leaving those hundreds of flooded basements uncounted.

The rain gauges in Farmington showed over one-point-three inches of rain, while those in the metropolitan St. Louis area ranged from 2.95 inches in Pacific to 5.25 inches in Edwardsville. Near Affton, the torrential downpours left enough water in the basements of older homes to cause residents to dig channels around their dwellings during the peak of the storm Sunday morning. Water rescues on roads were reported by numerous area fire and emergency personnel, including in Brentwood and along River Des Peres Boulevard just west of Gravois along what is usually a quiet creek with an oversized path. Sunday morning, River Des Peres was so full that some residents noted they had "never seen" the runoff produce what was described as "white water rapids".

The National Weather Service office in St. Louis says a Flood Warning remains in effect on the area rivers until further notice, with major flooding expected along the Meramec River at Valley Park and at Arnold, as well as the Missouri River at St. Charles, and the Illinois River at Hardin.

There is good news for those who had a basement full of flooded possessions: Sunny days and clear nights are predicted for the period through next Sunday in St. Louis. That should allow enough time for residents to air out those wet "important papers" in drenched cardboard boxes.

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