Flash flooding causes water rescues, road closures across St. Louis region

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:30 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 2:18 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Heavy rains and flash flooding impacted the St. Louis region Tuesday.

At 3:30 a.m., first responders blocked off all lanes of eastbound Interstate 64 near Grand. It reopened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday. On Interstate 55, drivers were diverted off the highway before Potomac. Eastbound Interstate 44 is the third interstate affected. All lanes were closed at Hampton

Just past 6 a.m., the St. Louis Fire Department reported several cars stranded on Interstate 44 near Jefferson Avenue.

Drivers needed to find an alternate route on eastbound Interstate 70 near Natural Bridge and Jennings Station Road. In addition, Interstate 70 was closed in both directions near Mid Rivers Mall in St. Charles.

Cpl. Dallas Thompson with the Missouri Highway Patrol recommended drivers to not travel on interstates in St. Louis and St. Charles counties until after the morning commute to allow the water to recede.

Several streets in University City, Maplewood, St. Louis County and St. Louis City were deemed impassable. News 4 Damon Arnold spotted several cars that were tucked in the flooded roads with water up to their door handles.

The National Weather Service said the area broke the all-time daily rainfall record from August 1915 as 8.06 inches of rainfall was observed as of 7 a.m.

Crews rescued 6 people and 6 dogs after 18 flooded homes in the 2700 block of Hermitage Avenue near Ellendale. Roughly 15 residents chose to shelter in place. Andrew Schafer rescued his family and dogs from his home as water seeped into his basement “like a waterfall.”

“I carried all three of my dogs, three kids, and wife out. This happened before about seven years ago,” Schafer said. He told News 4 he is heading back to his neighborhood to help others trapped.

The parking lot at the Reserve at Winding Creek Apartments was completely submerged with water, trapping residents. Roughly 15-16 were trapped inside as rescue boats brought residents to safety. About 150 residents had to be rescued total.

A Ferguson woman rescued a neighbor after she heard her cries for help. Brittany Duwe was walking through her flooded basement early Tuesday when she heard screams. She said she looked out a window and noticed a woman stranded on top of her car as floodwaters rose on. Duwe then jumped in and saved the woman, who is said to be doing okay.

The Westover Apartments in University City, residents were evacuated. The complex’s parking lot looked like a river and cars were submerged. Patrick Huber said his historic University home was damaged as water made its way to the first floor.

The Maryland Heights Community Center has opened as an emergency shelter for residents. The HEIGHTS Community Center in Richmond Heights on Dale Avenue opened its doors to residents displaced and is a shelter for those needing to stay overnight. The University City School District is advising families who are displaced by flooding to go to relief sites at Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing or Brittany Woods.

St. Charles County residents were urged to stay home Tuesday morning after 911 dispatchers were overwhelmed with the amount of water rescue calls.

Stray Paws Rescue in St. Peters told News 4 all of their puppies drowned. Their adult dogs are reportedly okay, and the shelter is asking for donations.

The Gateway Arch was closed all day due to the flooding caused by the record rainfall. Anyone with a pre-purchased ticket to the Tram Ride to the Top or Documentary Movie will be refunded as soon as possible.

In the Metro East, Scott Air Force Base announced a delayed opening. The campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville posted a statement explaining they would be closed until further notice.

St. Clair County Animal Services was flooded and dogs were standing in water. They are asking people to help foster a dog or cat for at least a week.

MetroTransit advised riders may see up to two hours of delays for the MetroBus, MetroLink and the Call-A-Ride service. MetroLink Station Shuttles were transporting riders by bus between the following MetroLink stations due to flooding:

  • Lambert Airport and Central West Ends Stations
  • University City-Big Bend and Central West End Stations

A train at the Delmar Loop Station has sustained significant damage. Metro says normal MetroLink service may not be restored for two weeks. For more on Metro-related delays, click here.

The Muny canceled the Tuesday night performance of Legally Blonde, The Musical due to flooding at Forest Park. The rescheduled performance will take place on Aug. 1 at 8:15 p.m. The Muny said all tickets for Tuesday night’s show will automatically be rescheduled for the August performance.