Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Christmas Flood of 2015

I have lots of posts to catch up on about all of the Christmas festivities when my sister's family was in town for the holidays. But first I thought I'd write about something that made the holidays memorable.

On Christmas it started raining in the evening and it kept on raining for the next three days. Even though it's winter, the weather has been very mild thus far, so we were even having thunderstorms as well, which are pretty rare in December. Thank goodness we were spared from the tornadoes that many places in surrounding states experienced. It rained and rained over the weekend, and when the ground became saturated with the moisture, there was nowhere for the water to go, so some people's houses started flooding, as well as the roadways, rivers and creeks.

I wasn't too worried about things until I had to go out to an eye appointment the Wednesday after Christmas. Traffic was pretty bad since many roads were flooded, and there was even talk of the highways closing, which almost never happens. Fortunately, my eye doctor's office isn't too far away, so my mom and I were able to go and get back without any trouble. A few hours later, however, the water in the Meramec River had risen so much that it was starting to cover Highway 55, so they shut it down, along with several other highways/roadways in the area. I saw people making comments on Facebook later that evening saying how their commute home from work took them two or three hours (or more), when it usually takes them a fraction of that time. The next day the only way out of Jefferson County (where I live) into St. Louis County was over the Telegraph Bridge. Many people posted memes on Facebook that talked about "Jefferson County Island" since there was so much flooding.

This is a picture of Highway 55 in Arnold, MO. I've been over this stretch of the highway hundreds, if not thousands, of times in my life. I've seen it pretty flooded in my 31 years, but never this flooded, to where the water from the Meramec River is actually coming on to the road. Craziness! I went over this stretch of the highway again yesterday, and while the river is still flooded, the water has receded a lot in the past week and is much closer to its normal level.
This is a picture of the back of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper last Friday:
I thought this picture above was interesting. It shows how much snow we would've gotten if all of the rain that fell had been snow. I heard on the news that the St. Louis area got between 8 inches and 12 inches of rain, depending on the area. That is a lot of rain for  days!

The rivers crested on Thursday, December 31. The Meramec River crested at 47.3 feet; 2 feet higher than the previous record, which I believe was set back in 1982. This recent flood was similar to the memorable flood of '93, and was even worse than that flood in some areas. This 2015 flood brought back a lot of memories of the flood of 93, when I was just nine years old. The 2015 flood came and went relatively quickly, whereas the flood of '93 seemed to last all summer.


Julie said...

Wow, that's a lot of rain/water in one day & also in a few days!

I hope no one was hurt in the floods.

We're experiencing lots of floods in the UK at the moment, mainly up north in Cumbria & Scotland. A lot of people have lost their houses.

Looking forward to reading your Christmas posts:)

Happy New Year to you & your Mum.x

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