Patty Titus, 57, stood at the edge of the Meramec River in Arnold as it ran up the side of her house and poured into her basement. It’s the house she grew up in, and she’s lived there for more than 50 years. As Titus watched the water rise, she listed the family heirlooms she’s lost.
“All my parents stuff, dishes, furniture, lost my freezer, my refrigerator, things that can’t be replaced. A lot of memories and things,” she said.
Titus’ home is one of 150 that are expected to be affected by the flooding in this area south of St. Louis. Arnold is one of the closest areas hit by the flooding, which results from the recent record-breaking rainfall. The city has two command centers — one on the north, the other on the south sides of town — to monitor flooding. A shelter for affected families has been established at First Baptist Church of Arnold.
Titus was joined by family, friends and volunteers who filled sand bags and placed them against the flood waters. Titus’ son Scott had been up all night trying to protect their home. He said the winter cold complicated their efforts.
Titus’ daughter Maggie recently returned home from college for winter break. She helped lay sandbags around the nearby sewer, hoping to reduce flooding that would back sewage up into the house.
“I didn’t expect a flood. So it’s kind of scary seeing my house filled with water right now. I’m trying to do the best I can,” said Maggie Titus.
In nearby cul-de-sacs cars are slowly being swallowed by the flood.
Aid trucks drove by delivering sand to neighbors who had also been sandbagging throughout the night.
Last night the utilities companies shut off power to neighborhood houses in anticipation of the flood.
Most family members will spend the night in a hotel until flood waters begin to recede.
The Army Corps of Engineers expects the flood to crest Thursday, possibly a full 2 feet higher than the 1993 record flooding in the same area.