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University City pushes out rain alert system ahead of heavy rains

Heavy rain caused major flooding in July 2022 and cost the city $3 million and caused 300 homes to be condemned.

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Many of the homes on Wilson Avenue near Drexel Drive in University City sat for sale or had been condemned on Thursday.

Teresa Schryver has only been in her home for two years and has already experienced the worst.

Schryver told 5 On Your Side she barely had any neighbors on her block after just over eight inches of rainfall and flooding washed out the city last July costing the city millions in damages.

“It took a matter of just a few hours pretty much to have our entire basement filled with water ...Computers, TVs, electronics, I had probably 8 to 10 like storage totes from my childhood that were in that basement,” she said.

The University City Fire Department is still rebuilding from the storm also.

"I think as a result of that there's been a big push at the stormwater commission and city hall. The city council has been coming up with ways to make this a little bit better," said Chief Deputy Gary Wilmouth.

Wilmouth showed us the mapping and how the public can track results from their new gauge system.

Three of them are stationed near River Des Peres to monitor the amount of water draining into the river.

“The total rain per hour, when that reaches an inch and a half per hour we know that there will be some flooding in University City. That gives us about a 40-minute head start for what's coming next,” Wilmouth added.

There's also a code red alert system residents can sign up for to get the word about emergencies.

Both are tools Schrvver wished she would have had sooner.

"I have more time to rescue time things out of the space that I'm worried about being damaged. I guess for me it would have helped a lot of my neighbors because I know that we were trying to call people because it was 2 in the morning,” she said.

Residents can track the gauges on their own on the city's website.

They can also sign up for CodeRED, a notification system that will send them alerts during emergencies via phone, texts, emails, and social media.

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