Devastating flooding in St. Louis destroyed dozens of homes


(CNN) — Between unprecedented rainMargaret Shellert, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, is facing the brunt of back-to-back devastating flooding this week.

After the region was hit by Torrential rains This Monday and Tuesday, a second round of storms on Thursday further exacerbated conditions for her and many in the city.

“My house had never been flooded. No water had ever gotten into it. This is the first time,” Shellert told CNN affiliate KMOV. “All my floors are ruined, the furniture is ruined, all the appliances are ruined.”

The harrowing flooding that hit her and others came as storms hit the St. Louis area on Thursday, submerging part of the city in six feet of water and trapping some residents in their homes, officials said.

St. Louis was inundated with more than 9 inches of rain from Monday night through Tuesday, surpassing the city’s highest recorded 24-hour rainfall total of 7 inches in 1915, according to the National Weather Service.

Areas around St. Louis saw about 6 to 10 inches of rain in a six-hour span from Monday to Tuesday, the Weather Service said. The flash flooding claimed the life of at least one person and prompted multiple road closures on several interstate highways, officials said.

“Flash flooding is typically characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through riverbeds, urban streets or mountain canyons, sweeping away everything in their path,” the Weather Service said. “It can also happen even if it hasn’t rained, for example after a levee or dam fails, or after a sudden release of water from a debris or ice jam.”

St. Louis resident Jeff Boshans told the CNN affiliate KSDKthat floodwaters reached 9 inches (228 mm) high in its basement after Tuesday’s flooding.

“Imagine all your belongings in a basement room that basically floated to the ceiling and then collapsed.” Boshans said.

Residents attempt to clean a drain in St. Louis on Thursday, July 28.

‘This is not normal’, they say about torrential rains

During the second round of flooding this Thursday, first responders in St. Louis rescued six children from a nursery who were trapped when the water level rose. No injuries were reported, authorities say.

Sixty people who faced floods during the afternoon were also rescued or assisted, According to the City Fire Department.

In the meantime, St.Louis ArtWorksa nonprofit arts and life skills program for underserved youth, lost about $60,000 in damage after floodwaters inundated the basement of its building on Tuesday and Thursday.

While Tuesday’s flooding was “patchy” in some areas of the building, Thursday’s flooding was much worse, according to Jacqueline Dace, executive director of the program.

On Thursday, the water “was gushing out in multiple places,” Dace told CNN. “The water was coming in through the walls and doors. The water had nowhere to go as the ground was so saturated.”

Dace added that he had never seen such intense flooding in the area before.

“This is not normal. Normally, within the surrounding areas of the city of St. Louis, we can experience flooding, but it doesn’t affect downtown as much as it has this week,” Dace said.

Gateway Pet Guardians use a boat to help pet owners rescue two cats and a dog from their home on Terrace Dr. in East St. Louis, Ill., on July 28, 2022.

These extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and intense as the global climate crisis persists.

The atmosphere can hold more moisture as temperatures rise, making significant records even more likely. More water vapor in the atmosphere means more moisture available to fall as rain, leading to higher rainfall rates.

Man-made fossil fuel emissions have warmed the planet by just over 1 degree Celsius on average, with warming most intense over land areas.

— CNN’s Amir Vera, Caroll Alvarado, Jason Hanna, Andy Rose and Raja Razek contributed to this report.





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