St. Louis Before and After the Flood

We left St. Louis on a flight to North Carolina last Saturday. Temperatures were due to be over 100 degrees in St. Louis that weekend, so we were eager to get to the cool mid-80s of the Outer Banks.

A few days into the family reunion–where clear, blue skies were in abundance–I got a call from our downstairs neighbor. Our shared basement had flooded.

I checked the news, and it was surreal to hear that while we were standing on a warm beach in North Carolina, St. Louis had experienced a deluge of 9 inches of rain in 24 hours. Basements across the city flooded, including that of a friend and coworker.

Before the water had time to drain, it rained again a few days later. This time, streets flooded. I kept replaying a video a friend posted on Instagram–the street in front of their house looked like a raging river.

My heart goes out to those who suffered (and are still suffering, here and in Kentucky) as a result of the rain. Our neighbor will need to redo the nice part of her basement; our portion is just a storage locker, and fortunately all I lost was a box of books (the most precious of which were my childhood copies of Dinotopia).

When we flew back to St. Louis on Friday, my eyes were glued to the scene below as we moved past the Arch, then the Central West End, then Clayton, then to the airport. I was expecting to see yards and streets under water–after all, portions of highways had been closed.

But it was a clear, sunny day (just like at the beach), and there wasn’t a pool of water to be found. I’m sure there was some in more hidden places, but at least from above, the city was back to operating as usual. It was truly surreal. We even played disc golf on Sunday, no problem (see non-muddy photo below).

Have you ever experienced anything like this? You leave a place just in time for a disaster to happen, but everything seems back to normal by the time you return?

4 thoughts on “St. Louis Before and After the Flood”

  1. My very first week in St Louis was following the flood of 93. In fact, part of our 1st year bonding/ orientation was helping with flood relief as we shoveled out homes. I often think about that time especially as friends posted pictures last week of neighbors being rescued by boat.

    Monsoons in AZ happen on a regular basis and are very similar. Lots of rain in a very short amount of time leaving roads flooded and people stranded. The biggest difference is AZ has huge washes on sides of many roads/ neighborhoods to help gather the water to help with the flooding. Some of my favorite walks with Sheeba were along the washes so I knew we couldn’t go after storms because they would not be passable. I also knew not to go around the lakes because the fish would get stranded after the water receded and would rot until the city cleaned the area.

  2. Dude your dinotopia books are destroyed? That really stinks. I know worse things have happened but still sorry for your loss, I know Ive heard you talking about your love for the series. Ive been looking for them at my local libraries and book stores. Will you be able to salvage or replace them?

    • They’re currently drying out, and I’ll still be able to enjoy them and share them with my nieces and nephews. 🙂


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