Mayor Slay declares weather emergency; volunteers needed for san - KMOV.com

Mayor Slay declares weather emergency; volunteers needed for sandbagging

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ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV) -- The mayor of St. Louis has declared a flood emergency in response to the rising Mississippi River.

The declaration Monday by Mayor Francis Slay activates the city's Emergency Operations center to ease coordination of flood-fighting efforts.

The river was nearly 7 feet above flood stage at St. Louis and expected to rise another 8 feet before cresting Thursday. That would make it the second-highest reading ever, topped only by the 1993 flood.

City crews have closed flood gates in the flood wall and are monitoring for trouble spots. Meanwhile, sandbagging operations are underway to protect homes along the River Des Peres. The City's Street and Parks Departments will begin a sandbagging operation to fortify parts of the River Des Peres levies between Morgan Ford and Alabama. With an estimated 20,000 sandbags needed, the City is asking for volunteers who are willing and able to help their neighbors to come fill sandbags. Interested volunteers should wear boots and gloves and report to the River Des Peres Park parking lot adjacent to Fultz Baseball Field (just east of Gravois Rd.) beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2015.

City drivers also should be aware that while flash flooding can occur on any street, Riverview Boulevard between Hall Street and I-270 will remain closed until flood waters recede. The City also will close Alabama Avenue at the River Des Peres to better control flood waters there.
 
The St. Louis City Fire Department's Swift Water Rescue Team, which operates 10 boats, has been deployed for rescue missions. Emergency responders remind drivers to both slow down and "turn around, don't drown."

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