Speed Reads

wild weather

Record rainfall leads to flash flooding in St. Louis

Firefighters in the St. Louis area rescued dozens of people on Tuesday after heavy rains caused severe flash flooding.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson told reporters that in the western part of the city, firefighters used an inflatable boat to rescue six people and six dogs trapped by the flooding. He also said that a body was pulled out of a car covered by nearly nine feet of floodwater, and this death is under investigation.

Late Monday, several thunderstorms formed along the northern periphery of a heat dome that has brought record-breaking temperatures to parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Shortly after 2 a.m. on Tuesday, after three to six inches of rain had fallen, the National Weather Service warned of life threatening flash flooding, and urged people to move to higher ground. By the afternoon, St. Louis received more than 9 inches of rain — two inches more than the record of roughly 7 inches set in August 1915.

There has been "very significant" property damage across St. Louis, Jenkerson said, with "a tremendous amount of cars that have been door-deep and also roof-deep in some of these low-lying areas. Now, we're seeing the weight of the water cause some issues with buildings. We're having some partial roof collapses. Some of the vacant buildings are also suffering from the stress of this water."