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Photos: First responders rescue residents as historic rainfall floods St. Louis region

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
First responders rescue Karnesha Robinson, 30, and her daughters Kaylee, 1, (in her hands) and Kalayah, 2, on Tuesday outside the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex in Hazelwood.

Downpours in St. Louis on Tuesday morning broke the record for the most rainfall ever recorded in a single day in the city.

By early afternoon, the National Weather Service in St. Louis was reporting that just over 9 inches had fallen — more rain than the city normally gets for the months of July and August combined. The last record, 6.85 inches, was set in 1915. Some parts of the region saw close to 11 inches of rainfall, according to the weather service.

The rainfall started around midnight. By 5:30 a.m., drivers were faced with dangerous driving conditions. A few hours later, cars and dumpsters were submerged in water as deep as a swimming pool.

Buddha Poutthasith, 21, was driving in the rain before sunrise when his car became submerged.

"I just heard a big 'whoosh,' and waves — and next thing you know I’m in 3-4 feet of water," he said. He and his mother had to wade through the water on Forest Park Parkway to get to safety.

View scenes from the aftermath below.

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
First responders rescue residents of the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex from flooding on Tuesday in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Garry Olson, left, and Sean Boyle, both of the Spanish Lake Fire Department, rescues Victorria Adams, 25, and her 9-month-old daughter Amiri Scott, from extreme flooding engulfing The Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex on Tuesday in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Darnise Harrison, 35, of Hazelwood, climbs out of a boat after being rescued by first responders on Tuesday outside the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
First responders rescue residents of the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex from flooding on Tuesday in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Residents of The Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex trudge through deep waters on Tuesday after being evacuated from their homes in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
“You see this on TV, and then you wake up and it’s in your neighborhood,” said Valarie Britton, 55, who was helped out of a boat by first responders after being rescued near the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex. “This is all just surreal.”
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Dana Manuel, 50, talks on the phone to her family after being rescued from floodwaters at the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex while holding her Chihuahuas Lucky, 13, and Mia, 7.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Chief Dave Herman of the Hazelwood Fire Department takes command of a rescue operation on Tuesday near the Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex in Hazelwood.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Courtney Daffin, 29, holds her daughter Angelina Sylvester, 4, after being rescued from floodwaters on Tuesday outside of The Reserve at Winding Creek apartment complex in Hazelwood.
Budda Poutthasith, 21, of south St. Louis, looks out to his car under water
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Budda Poutthasith, 21, of south St. Louis, looks out to his car, which was swept underwater Tuesday on Forest Park Parkway in St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Vehicles are stalled after being swept underwater on Forest Park Parkway on Tuesday during historic rainfall and flooding in St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Budda Poutthasith, 21, of south St. Louis, looks out to his car, which was swept underwater on Forest Park Parkway early Tuesday morning in St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Vehicles are stalled after being swept underwater on Forest Park Parkway.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Abandoned vehicles sit submerged in water on Tuesday in University City.
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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Abandoned vehicles are submerged in floodwater on the 900 block of North Skinker during historic rainfall and flooding in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Local residents shared pictures of the flooding in their neighborhoods. Do you have pictures of the record-breaking rainfall? Email them to social@stlpublicradio.org with your name and where the picture was taken.

Brian Munoz is a staff photojournalist and multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. You can reach him by email at bmunoz@stlpr.org and follow his work on Instagram and Twitter at @brianmmunoz.

Lara Hamdan is St. Louis Public Radio's Engagement Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @larafaiham.

Brian Munoz is a photojournalist and multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.