St. Louis Public Radio News
5:55 am
Mon September 15, 2008

Clean-up begins after weekend flash flooding

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County residents are scraping mud and loading dumpsters after flash flooding this weekend inundated their homes and businesses.

University City resident Gregory Meeks ended up with a foot and a half of water in his living room when the River Des Peres exploded from its banks. His car ended up down the street. He still had six feet of water in his basement on Monday.

"We always get rain, but it's never been nothing this bad," he said.

University City city manager Julie Feier said residents who have an orange condemnation tag on their door cannot live in the house until it is inspected by the city.

In Brentwood, Brett Schubert and his employees were cleaning out the offices of Studio Works, a video production company.

"The building itself had over a foot of water inside of it. Everything is destroyed. Everything," Schubert said. He easily lost $500,000 in video equipment.

Brentwood fire Chief Bob Niemeyer has worked for the city for more than 46 years.

"I've seen an awful lot of bad fires and serious emergencies, but I've never seen water like this," Niemeyer said. "I went through the 70s floods, I went through the 80s and the two bad ones in 93 and 95. This was the worst ever in the history of Brentwood."

Brentwood emergency workers had to evacuate an apartment complex after flooding trapped residents on the upper floors. The rescue was complicated by the fact that many of the state's water rescue teams are in Texas, Niemeyer said. Brentwood used a boat from the city of St. Louis and two private vessels.

No one died in Brentwood. But two people in University City drowned as they tried to move their cars.