ST. LOUIS — Local leaders have declared states of emergency after historic rainfall and flash flooding in the St. Louis area.
Tuesday afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the state. Kehoe signed the order as the acting governor on behalf of Governor Mike Parson, who is on an international trip to promote Missouri businesses and trade.
The declaration activates the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions in order to provide assistance.
“Today there was tremendous work by local first responders, emergency managers, and citizen rescuers rushing to help during these extremely dangerous conditions,” SEMA Director Jim Remillard said in a press release. “Please continue to avoid the impacted areas, and if anyone has unmet needs, we encourage you to call United Way 2-1-1.”
In a press conference, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page also announced he signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in St. Louis County.
In the press conference, Page said Congresswoman Cori Bush has been in contact with the White House regarding the flooding.
"We are hopeful that a declaration of a state of emergency from the White House will come soon," Page said. "And that's important to folks in our community because that allows us to have access to small business loans for businesses that have been damaged by the flooding and also allows property owners to access special programs."
Tuesday afternoon, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones declared a state of emergency as well. A press release from Jones' office said the declaration will "enable the State of Missouri, if granted, to request federal support to bring relief to residents and small businesses."
“Communities throughout our region were devastated by last night’s record rainfall and flooding,” Jones said in the press release. “My heart goes out to all those families who were impacted, and I remain in consistent communication with our partners at the county, state, and federal governments. This declaration of emergency will help us get the resources we need to begin our city’s recovery.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by flooding, call the United Way at 211 to get information and support.
Extreme rainfall occurred early Tuesday morning with St. Louis-Lambert International Airport receiving a daily total of 8.63 inches of rain, shattering the old daily rainfall record of 6.85 inches set back on Aug. 20, 1915. The storm total at Lambert, so far, is 9.06 inches.
As of 3 p.m., St. Louis area rainfall totals ranged from five to 12 inches, with the most rain falling over St. Charles county. In fact, the Missouri cities of Wentzville, O'Fallon and St. Paul all saw rainfall totals near 12 inches. In St. Louis County, most neighborhoods picked up five to 10 inches of rainfall. Our highest rainfall total, about two miles north of St. Peters, came in at 12.34 inches.