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One dead after record rain causes severe flooding in St. 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 was found covered in more than 8 feet of water in St. Louis. Several puppies drowned when a building was flooded at Stray Paws Adoptables, a stray dog ​​rescue operation in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis. Firefighters in boats rescued other dogs from the building.

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

By noon, about 9 inches of rain had fallen at Lambert Airport, shattering the previous daily record of 6.85 inches set on August 20, 1915, as remnants of the Galveston, Texas hurricane moved north toward St. Louis. Forecasters expected more storms for the remainder of the week.

First responders from Central County Fire and Rescue and the St. Charles County Ambulance District transport an evacuated elderly woman from her home on Main Street in Old Towne St. Peters after flooding from Dardenne Creek hit the neighborhood during Tuesday, July 26 flooded by heavy rains. 2022. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Mailed via AP)
First responders transport an evacuee elderly woman from her home after flooding devastated the neighborhood on July 26, 2022.
AP
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding across a closed Interstate 70 on Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain overnight and into the morning on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding across a closed Interstate 70 on Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell during the night and morning.
AP

The fire brigade was busy with water rescues. Sections of Interstates 70, 64, 55, and 44 were all closed at various times as water flooded the roads. Some motorists took to social media to report they were stranded for hours.

In the city of St. Louis, firefighters rescued people from several homes after floodwaters poured into homes. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said at a news conference that many homes suffered significant damage and some roofs collapsed under the weight of the water.

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

“We had a tremendous amount of cars that were door-deep and also roof-deep in some of these low-lying areas,” Jenkerson said.

A tow truck driver moves to clear a flooded car while another rolls along Interstate 70 on Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain Monday night and Tuesday, July 26, 2022 into the morning . (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post mailed via AP)
Sections of several freeways were closed as water covered the lanes.
AP

The water was above the roof of a car found in a neighborhood near Forest Park just after 10 a.m. One person was pulled out but pronounced dead. Her identity has not been made public.

In the town of Brentwood, St. Louis County, residents had to be evacuated when Deer Creek overflowed. Rising waters also threatened homes in Ladue, one of Missouri’s wealthiest cities.

The floods were so bad that the famous Gateway Arch was closed for the day.

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

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

“They’ve got this swath of up to 10-inch amounts, and one or two counties south of that had a track or even less,” Pfahler said.

Aerial view of severe flooding in the St. Louis area
Entire neighborhoods in the St. Louis area were engulfed due to the severe flooding.
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department

The remarkable rainfall followed a prolonged period of drought 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 more important factor, he said, was that the storm hit a metro area with lots of concrete and tarmac, rather than grassy areas that could more easily absorb the moisture.

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

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

https://nypost.com/2022/07/27/one-dead-after-record-rain-causes-heavy-flooding-in-st-louis-area/ One dead after record rain causes severe flooding in St. Louis area

JACLYN DIAZ

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