Lessons from '93: St. Louis preps for floodwaters - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Lessons from '93: St. Louis preps for floodwaters

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Rivers throughout St. Louis and Illinois will crest in the next few days at levels second only to the Great Flood of 1993.

Volunteers throughout the City of St. Louis laid about 20,000 sandbags Tuesday to keep the rising waters at bay.

The city says it's what they need to keep the water away from homes and streets in the area. St. Louis has not seen this type of extreme flooding in 22 years.

In that historic flood, the Mississippi's swollen banks overtook downtown St. Louis and surrounding areas. The waters did not crest for a month.

This week, St. Louis is facing a much more expedited time frame as they prep for the rising waters after the historic rainfall over the December 26 weekend.

The flood gates are closed, sandbags are down, and the National Guard is on its way to help St. Louis and surrounding areas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says even with the fast rising waters, they are much more prepared.

“In terms of forecasting the river levels were light years better than ‘93, all you could do is take what rain that fell, put it into models and see what comes out. Now, we’re putting in forecast rainfall. That has given us much more heads up, so we can see a day or two in advance, this is what could happen,” said Jim Kramper, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS.

The rivers are expected to crest within the next two days. The city remains on a 24-hour flood watch with crews driving around, looking at the levees, and making sure there are no leaks.

Copyright 2015 KMOV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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