At least one person is dead after historic rain fell on St. Louis, Missouri overnight Monday through Tuesday, leading to widespread flash flooding that left St. Louis motorists stranded and residents evacuating their homes. According to the National Weather Service in St. Louis, the city had recorded 8.06 inches of rainfall by early Tuesday, surpassing the previous daily record of 6.85 inches on Aug. 20, 1915.
Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson confirmed there was one fatality after a person was pulled from a submerged vehicle. The person’s identity was withheld until family members could be notified, he said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. About 70 people had to be rescued or assisted as rain drenched the city, Jenkerson said, adding, “We’ve had a tremendous amount of cars that have been door-deep and also roof-deep in some of these low-lying areas. Now we’re seeing the weight of the water cause some issues with buildings. We’re having some partial roof collapse. Some of the vacant buildings are also suffering from the stress of this water.”
At least six people and six dogs were rescued by boat from flooded homes, the fire department said. Firefighters responded to about 18 homes because of substantial flooding. More than a dozen people chose to shelter in place, it tweeted. Numerous roads were also closed in metropolitan St. Louis, including parts of Interstate 70. Video showed cars stranded on the flooded interstate and firefighters rescuing drivers from their vehicles.
Gov. Mike Parson issued a state of emergency, allowing state agencies to work directly with local jurisdictions. He said in a statement: “With record rainfall impacting the St. Louis region and the potential for additional rain and isolated thunderstorms, we want to ensure that our communities have every resource available to respond and protect Missourians. We urge Missourians to follow the direction of local authorities and emergency managers, never drive in floodwaters, and always use common sense to prevent injury.”
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