Flooding | St. Louis Public Radio

Flooding

Screenshot from the National Weather Service.

Just north of St. Louis, the city of Alton is bracing for the flooded Mississippi River to crest soon.

According to the National Weather Service, the river is expected to crest at about 30 feet on Tuesday -- nine feet above flood stage -- and remain near that level until Thursday.

Matt Asselmeier from Alton Mayor Tom Hoescht's office says they've filled more than 2,000 sand bags in preparation.

The good news is that "the big river didn't get too big," The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes this morning.

"Sandbags held back the cresting Mississippi River from several towns north of St. Louis on Sunday," it adds, "while the forecast for the immediate vicinity remained high but manageable."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Update 4:50 p.m. with comments from Mo. Nat. Guard Maj. Tammy Spicer. Updated 2:43 with Missouri disaster declaration. Updated 9:56 a.m. April 19 with Missouri, St. Louis information. Updated at 4 p.m. April 18 with Ameren substation information.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency following significant flash and river flooding in his state.

(via Wikimedia Commons/FEMA Photo Library)

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for St. Louis City and several Missouri counties, including Iron, Jefferson, Madison, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and Washington. The Tornado Watch is in effect until 11 a.m.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With the price of flood insurance on the rise and climate change likely to worsen Midwest flooding, a scientific panel wants federal emergency officials to modernize the outmoded tools used to analyze the probability and impact of floods.

Such a change, if adopted by FEMA, could have major consequences in Missouri and Illinois, where debates over flood insurance, FEMA flood mapping, and flood damage from the Mississippi and Missouri rivers have dominated much of the discussion in the Metro East and other low-lying regions.

Enyart, Durbin Push Bills To Aid Shipping Industry

Mar 14, 2013
via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

A pair of bills related to transportation on the inland waterways was introduced in the US House and Senate on Thursday.

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart introduced his first piece of legislation since being sworn into office last January—the Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act.

Enyart says the bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers authority that it doesn’t currently have, to conduct operations outside of the barge channel.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the near-historic Mississippi River flood of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like no other flood before it.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Photo by Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk)

A Corps of Engineers study says more research and monitoring are needed to reduce the likelihood of damage along the Missouri River in future floods.

The study released Monday focuses on remaining vulnerabilities after the Missouri River rose to record levels last year. The flooding began after the corps released massive amounts of water from upstream reservoirs filled by melting snow and heavy rain.

Most repairs to damaged levees in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri are expected to be finished before next spring. Work on the river's dams expected to take longer.

(courtesy Photo Flood Saint Louis)

Photo Flood Saint Louis describes themselves as a "a collective of photographers, living in the area, who occasionally invade parts of town to record it in a surge of imagery" and "create a photographic map of St. Louis" in the process.

St. Louis Public Radio has partnered with Photo Flood to celebrate our area through these "surges," and show you the work resulting from each.

Today's blog post showcases the second meeting of the collective and their flood of Bellefontaine Cemetery.

(National Weather Service)

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows the remnants of Hurricane Isaac passing through the St. Louis region on Saturday morning. 

That has local officials getting ready for problems that could result from a major rainfall.

Metropolitan Sewer District spokesman Lance LeComb said storms like Isaac have historically presented the greatest threat of flash flooding.

(Sydney Miller/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two outlet malls are racing to build in what some say is one of the most valuable retail areas in America -- the Chesterfield Valley. If both are built, the companies would compete with each other, the Chesterfield Commons strip mall and the nearby Chesterfield Mall, risking financial failure.

Sydney Miller examines what it is about the Chesterfield region that makes it so attractive.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Members of Illinois' congressional delegation say they've defeated a legislative measure that would have mandated flood insurance for individuals living behind what they called healthy flood-protection barriers.
 
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office says the proposal originally was part of the National Flood Insurance Program's reauthorization bill. But federal lawmakers from Illinois say the insurance mandate was tucked into the bill with little warning.
 
Durbin says lawmakers managed to have that provision removed.
 

(Diana Fredlund/US Army Corps of Engineers)

A new report calls flood management on the Missouri River “outdated” and says it’s putting the public at risk.

The report by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers identifies the Missouri River as one of the ten most endangered in the country.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

MoDOT to work on I-64 double-deck for the rest of the year

The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning motorists that major work on the 1-64 double-deck structure in downtown will impact traffic until the end of the year.

MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker says at least one lane will be closed at all times on the structure that leads to and from the Poplar Street Bridge.

(via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

An increase in free space within reservoirs would not have made much of a difference in last year’s record flooding along the Missouri River, according to a report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers.   

Jody Farhat, the Corps’ Chief Water Manager for the Missouri River, says a higher amount of free space would have only reduced last year’s flooding, not prevented it.

“Due to the tremendous volume of water, we still would have had very high record releases from the reservoirs," Farhat said.  "We still would have had a significant flood event in the Missouri basin."

(Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

State and federal leaders are gathering in Columbia Saturday to talk about ways to prevent last year’s devastating floods that plagued northwest and southeastern Missouri.

Heavy snow and rainfall led to record releases from South Dakota dams along the Missouri River –and as a result 200,000 acres of farmland in northwest Missouri sat flooded for months, along with a significant stretch of Interstate 29 in Missouri and Iowa.  Around 130,000 acres were flooded in the southeast part of the state when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in the Birds Point Levee along the Mississippi River in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is getting more than $5 million from the federal government to help in the long-term recovery for people hit by tornadoes and flooding.

The grant announced Wednesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available to help people hit by tornadoes in the Joplin and St. Louis areas, as well as flooding along the Mississippi River and in southern Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Milus and Wanda Wallace can't move heaven, but they are moving tons of earth to live once again on their "slice of heaven" in the southern section of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

The Wallaces' Mississippi County farm was among the 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland inundated by floodwater in May after the Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the levee in three places to alleviate flooding in Cairo, Ill., and other towns along the Mississippi River.

SIUC tenure and tenure-track faculty go on strike

Three of the four Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) unions in a contract dispute with the administration have reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike among non-tenure track faculty, civil service staff and graduate assistants. But one group walked off the job this morning.

Talks toward a new contract broke down last night.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says it will be developing a new system to monitor back-up power sources at its pumping stations.

(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.

Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172  million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and nearly half of Missouri’s congressional delegation are pledging to rebuild levees and pursue policies that will make massive water releases from dams unnecessary in the future.

They addressed this issue at a meeting of Missouri Farm Bureau members at the State Fair in Sedalia today.

(via Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for 23 northern counties hit by severe storms and flooding along the Missouri River. He announced the request Monday.

The disaster request would cover events since June 1. If approved, it would allow government aid to flow to families and public agencies that have suffered losses. The counties included in the request are:

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

Amtrak officials say full service between St. Louis and Kansas City will be restored on Wednesday, nearly a month after being disrupted due to flood waters.

Flooding along the Missouri River had forced more freight traffic onto tracks used by Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.  Spokesman Marc Magliari says the high waters have subsided.

View University City Flood Damage in a larger map

A long-delayed buyout of 26 properties in University City that were severely damaged by flash flooding in 2008 has gotten a final level of approval.

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

The high water that's shut down two of Amtrak's Missouri River Runner trains for more than three weeks will keep those trains off the track until at least Sunday.

Amtrak had hoped last week that the Missouri River would recede enough to restart service by tomorrow, July 19th.

(via Flickr/clip works)

Thousands of property owners facing the prospect of buying costly flood insurance as a hedge against aging levees could get a reprieve for years under a measure that has advanced in Congress.

The House on Tuesday night overwhelmingly signed off on a bill reauthorizing the debt-ridden federal flood-insurance program for five years.

(flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo)

The Missouri River Working Group is holding its first meeting on Wednesday to come up with a policy on flood control.

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill launched the group with senators from North Dakota to look for ways to improve flood control along the Missouri River and keep this year’s flooding from happening again.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is catching flak for sending out letters to farmers along the flooded Missouri River.

The letters in question are an attempt to gauge farmers' interest in selling their lands to the federal government for wildlife habitat restoration.  Farmers in Missouri and Iowa have been receiving the letters.

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