University City creates early flood warning system
UNIVERSITY CITY (KMOV) -- Record rainfall in July 0f 2022 was blamed for widespread flooding that caused $30 million in damage and led to 300 homes being condemned in University City. The trauma of the situation left some flood victims watching weather forecasts more closely and getting nervous when it rains.
“I get a little frightened anytime I see it pour down,” said Jesse Brown.
Since last July, University City has taken steps to be better prepared for the future. Based on a recommendation from the city’s storm water commission, three rain gauges were installed as part of an early warning system.
Chief Bill Hinson is with the University City Fire Department.
“As soon as it starts raining, that starts measuring it,” he said.
One of the gauges is along Dielman Rock Island Industrial Drive in Olivette. The second is in western University City near Paramount Drive and 82nd Street. The third is at the intersection of Drexel Drive and Wilson Avenue.
Each gauge is positioned near the River Des Peres to monitor the amount of water draining into the river. The devices measure both the total amount of rain over a 24-hour period and the critical rate of rainfall.
“When they reach an inch and a half an hour, they automatically send an alert to every police commander, every fire commander that is on or off duty so that an alert can be put out across CodeRed to let the people in the area know that there’s a potential for flooding in their area,” said Hinson.
Hinson said the city is urging all residents to sign up for CodeRed alerts to be able to receive flood warnings or other types of warnings as necessary.
Residents can learn more about the early warning system and check the rain gauges here. U City residents can sign up for CodeRed alerts here or by texting UCITY to 99411. You can view a map showing the areas that flooded in July of 2022 by clicking here.
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