Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Mary Delach Leonard

Floodwaters climb up the steps in front of the Gateway Arch during the Great Flood of 1993.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Aug. 1, 1993, the Mississippi River crested at 49.58 feet in St. Louis, nearly 20 feet above flood stage, breaking previous records. At the flood’s peak, more than a million cubic feet of water passed the Gateway Arch each second.

In west St. Louis County, the entire Chesterfield valley, then known as Gumbo Flats, was under water as the Missouri River overflowed its levees. On the east side of the Mississippi, the entire town of Valmeyer, Illinois, was destroyed, and rather than rebuilding, the citizens moved to a new location.

As a result of the Great Flood of ’93, residents were evacuated, homes and businesses were lost, and people all over the region joined in the sandbagging efforts to prevent further devastation.

Mark Scott Abeln

In April 2013, Clayton, Missouri will celebrate 100 years as a municipality.  Host Don Marsh talks with author Mary Delach Leonard, who also writes for the St. Louis Beacon, about her new book, Clayton, Missouri: An Urban Story. Leonard traces the beginning of the community from a rural outpost to a progressive metropolitan hub.  Mary Delach Leonard also highlights important city leaders who shaped Clayton and includes historic and contemporary photos of the community.