- “Historic” rainfall in the St. Louis metro area caused flash flooding Tuesday morning.
- Fire department crews rescued people from homes and vehicles that were trapped due to floodwaters.
- In St. Peters, several puppies drowned when they flooded the building of a stray dog shelter.
Record rainfall triggered flash flooding in St. Louis and other parts of Missouri on Tuesday, killing one and trapping several others in their cars and homes.
Thunderstorms flooded the St. Louis metropolitan area in a “historic precipitation” of up to 10 inches, causing widespread flash flooding and forcing roads to close, the National Weather Service said. The previous daily record of 6.85 inches was set in 1915 when remnants of a hurricane moved north. As of Tuesday morning, 8.3 inches of rain fell at Lambert Airport.
National Weather Service meteorologist Marshall Pfahler said a storm moved through the St. Louis area around midnight and stopped, dumping water in the same relatively narrow band. The rain triggered “dangerous and life-threatening flash floods” across central and eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.
One person died after being pulled from a flooded vehicle in an area with 8.5 feet of water, said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson of the St. Louis Fire Department. at a press conference on Tuesday. Property damage was “very extensive,” but there weren’t many other injuries, Jenkerson said.
In St. Louis, floodwaters crept into homes and vehicles. Jenkerson said firefighters rescued or assisted more than 70 residents. The department used boats to save six residents and six dogs and released motorists stranded in high water.
In St. Peters, a town northwest of St. Louis, several puppies drowned when a building housing the Stray Paws Adoptables stray dog rescue flooded. Firefighters aboard boats were able to rescue other dogs from the building.
A portion of Interstate 70 near St. Peters was closed Tuesday morning, the Missouri Department of Transportation reported. Local law enforcement said additional roads were closed. At one point, sections of highways 64, 55, and 44 were also closed in the St. Louis area.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol asked drivers to avoid freeways in St. Charles and St. Louis counties until after rush hour.
Residents of the town of Brentwood in St. Louis County were evacuated after Deer Creek overflowed. Rising waters threatened homes in Ladue, one of Missouri’s wealthiest towns. And flooding forced the iconic Gateway Arch to close for the day.
Flash flood warnings were in effect until Tuesday afternoon, and isolated severe thunderstorms were possible Tuesday evening in parts of Missouri and Illinois, which could see more than 12 inches of precipitation. More storms were possible later this week, forecasters said.
Contributor: Associated Press. Contact Breaking News reporter N’dea Yancey-Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @NdeaYanceyBragg