City of St. Peters passes resolution demanding action from MoDOT, Army Corps of Engineers to address I-70 flooding concerns

A section of I-70 near Mid Rivers Mall Drive was shut down for hours on July 26 when the area received more than a foot of rainfall.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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ST. PETERS (KMOV) - The City of St. Peters is asking the state and federal governments to take action six weeks after catastrophic flooding caused millions of dollars in damage.

The resolution is being introduced at Thursday’s board of aldermen meeting and states after the interstate flooded both in 2015 and earlier this year, neither the state or federal government has done anything to mitigate the risk.

“I would hope they would sit at the table and invest into a study to solve this problem,” said Mayor Len Pagano. “When you start affecting quality of life, commerce and safety of people, that has to be fixed.”

In the early morning hours of July 26, 2022, officials shut down a portion of the interstate that saw two to three feet of standing water. The miles-long backup was diverted through the Mid Rivers Mall parking lot, as the service road was also impassable.

In the resolution the city claims the existing drainage pipes and roadside ditches were “unable to convey the storm water contributing to the flooding of roadways and businesses.”

The city said it is hopeful it can work together with MoDOT to ensure debris is cleared from the side of the interstate, potentially avoiding storm grates being clogged with debris during heavy rainfall.

MoDOT sent News 4 the following statement:

In July, the St. Louis region experienced a historic rain event. There were a lot of creeks and small areas of water that became overwhelmed due to the rain and that water backed up onto the interstate/roadways. Local creeks, streams and ditches overflowed and delayed water from draining off of many roadways. Too much rain fell too quickly for it to drain immediately.

According to the city, Dardenne Creek overflowed its banks in 2015, causing the nearby stretch of interstate to be closed for two days. After the flood, the city passed a similar resolution, yet the city said no action was taken.

“I’m hoping I don’t have another resolution go to them and come back and say, ‘thank you for your email or your letter, we’ll look into it,’” Pagano said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent News 4 the following statement:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has technical assistance and project delivery authorities that can assist local and state governments who face water resources related challenges such as flooding. USACE is available to discuss partnership opportunities for further evaluation of the problem.

Pagano said he would like to see a study conducted to determine the exact problem and to ultimately have the problem resolved. Meanwhile, FEMA and the Small Business Administration continue to collect damage claims from homeowners and business owners. While Pagano said he did not have an exact figure, damage estimates are expected to be in the millions.