Valmeyer

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In the summer of 1993, flood waters from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers broke levee after levee in the St. Louis region, covering large swathes of land, destroying property, disrupting lives and creating hazardous conditions.

Rock City development Valmeyer, Ill
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Among the twists and turns that Valmeyer has taken since the Great Flood of ’93, the coolest -- as in 58 degrees year round -- is Rock City, a warehousing facility constructed in an old limestone quarry that the flood-ravaged village acquired during its quest to move to the bluffs.

A view of the floodplain from Valmeyer's Rock City development.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dennis Knobloch, then the mayor of Valmeyer, said he didn’t grasp the magnitude of the flooding that had engulfed his village in those first days of August 1993 until he and Monroe County officials surveyed the scene by helicopter.

"It was like flying over an ocean,’’ he said. "It was water from the Illinois bluff to the Missouri bluff, which is 4 miles apart here. It is hard to comprehend.’’

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:Most springs, nature sends a reminder to the residents of the St. Louis region that they live at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri, two major American rivers that have the potential to rise up and storm the levees.

Dennis Knobloch stands in the field where his house was before the flood of 1993.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Lush, green soybeans now populate the plot of good earth where Dennis Knobloch’s house once stood on Main Street in Valmeyer, Ill. -- before the Mississippi River busted through a levee and swallowed the town whole during the Great Flood of ’93.