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At the least 1 person is dead in historic St. Louis rainfall


John Ward, left, and a firefighter help Lynn Hartke wade through the flash floodwater on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

David Carson | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | AP

At the least one person was killed when historic rain of greater than 8 inches fell on St. Louis.

Thunderstorms in Missouri developed overnight Monday through Tuesday morning, resulting in widespread flash flooding that left St. Louis motorists stranded and residents fleeing their homes.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said one person had died after being pulled from a submerged vehicle. The person’s identity was withheld until members of the family could possibly be notified, he said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

About 70 people needed to be rescued or assisted as rain drenched the town, Jenkerson said.

“We have had an incredible amount of cars which have been door-deep and in addition roof-deep in a few of these low-lying areas,” he said.

“Now we’re seeing the burden of the water cause some issues with buildings. We’re having some partial roof collapse,” he said. “A number of the vacant buildings are also affected by the stress of this water.”

Town had recorded 8.06 inches of rainfall by early Tuesday, surpassing the previous day by day record of 6.85 inches on Aug. 20, 1915, in response to the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

At the least six people and 6 dogs were rescued by boat from flooded homes, the hearth department said. Firefighters responded to about 18 homes because of considerable flooding. Greater than a dozen people selected to shelter in place, it tweeted.

Quite a few roads were also closed in metropolitan St. Louis, including parts of Interstate 70. Video showed cars stranded on the flooded interstate and firefighters rescuing drivers from their vehicles.

Steven Bertke and his dog Roscoe are taken to dry land by St. Louis firefighters who used a ship to rescue people from their flooded homes on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

David Carson | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | AP

The rain prompted a flash flood emergency for St. Louis County and St. Louis City. Flash flood warnings continued for St. Louis, Chesterfield and University City through 9:30 a.m. local time, in response to the weather service.

O’Fallon, St. Charles and St. Peters were under a flash flood warning until 12:15 p.m. local time.

In nearby Maryland Heights, residents were urged to avoid traveling in the course of the storm.

“Many roadways in our area are flooded and closed. Other roadways are at a standstill due [to] heavy traffic since drivers are attempting to determine alternative routes,” Maryland Heights police tweeted.

A state of emergency was declared, allowing state agencies to work directly with local jurisdictions.

“With record rainfall impacting the St. Louis region and the potential for extra rain and isolated thunderstorms, we wish to make sure that our communities have every resource available to reply and protect Missourians,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a press release.

“We urge Missourians to follow the direction of local authorities and emergency managers, never drive in floodwaters, and all the time use common sense to stop injury.”

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