Flood Preparedness and Updates 2019

FLOOD WARNING
ISSUED: 10:45 am JUNE 4, 2019 BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

There is a Flood warning for urban areas and small streams in southwestern St. Louis City, and central St. Louis County until 10:30 AM Tuesday. 

At 10:30 AM on June 4th, emergency management reported flooding along River Des Peres. This flooding is caused by backwater from the Mississippi River. The Mississippi is forecast to continue rising for at least 2 more days, so flooding along River Des Peres is likely to worsen through Thursday and into Friday.

Flooding Update 2019

As you know, this has been a wet spring. Several streets in University City have experienced flooding. City Manager Gregory Rose walked those streets and assessed the damage, and has instructed the Public Works Department to work with MSD to clear inlets and find ways to clean up debris and assist with water flow. Please let us know if inlets on your street are blocked so that we can work with MSD to clear them. Let us know by calling (314) 505-8560.

We have created this web page with information that will be updated as the situation changes. We thank you all for your diligent preparation, and hope that everyone stays safe. 

How does this impact University City?  

Some city streets experienced flash flooding the evening of May 29th.  This was not due to clogged drains or waterways stopped up with debris, but because of the backup of the Mississippi River into the River Des Peres.  The water has nowhere to drain but into the streets.  Heavy rains can cause the River Des Peres to fill and overflow very quickly.

Preparation

The best thing you can do is be prepared. The first thing you need to know is how your electric and gas work in your house.  If your basement starts flooding, you need to know how to shut electric and gas down to anything the water might impinge on in your house.  Know which breakers work your basement outlets and how to shut the gas off to things like your hot water heater and furnace. Water could possibly extinguish the pilot light on your water heater but not stop the gas from leaking in to the house. Sparks from an outlet that has been encroached by water could possibly ignite the leaking gas.

Next have a “Go Bag” ready.  Ideally, you should have this ready year-round, not just during inclement weather. A “Go Bag” is a kit that contains necessities that allow you to leave your house for up to 72 hours.

It should contain:

  • Clothes
  • Bathing Essentials
  • Flashlight
  • Small first aid kit
  • Supply of your medicines (the number one thing people forget during an evacuation). 

It is usually not practical to keep a spare set of medications in a GO bag so medications should be kept together in a place where they can easily be grabbed.

Flood Safety

Remember, never wade or drive through flood waters. We have experienced tragedy in University City in the past, with people trying to save possessions and ended up losing their lives. No possession is worth losing your life.

Flood waters also contain several forms of bacteria that can make you very ill. Avoid contact with the water as much as possible, especially if you have open wounds etc.

The following is a link to the federal government disaster readiness kit ideas:  

        https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/site-page-hero-images/Build_a_kit.jpg

Please visit the site or call us with any questions you may have.

University City Fire Department: 314-505-8768

Resources    

The American Red Cross

The Red Cross is coordinating with community, government and emergency management officials to determine where and when assistance is needed, including emergency shelters, disaster assistance and meals.

At any time, you can view all of the shelters currently being operated in our communities by clicking on the link: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter.html.

Free Red Cross Emergency App, available from the Google Play (Android) or App Store (iPhone): https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps.html. This convenient mobile and all-inclusive resource includes weather alerts, preparedness and recovery information, a shelter locator and other important life-saving information and tips.