Current High Water Update For Monroe County Bottoms

Current High Water Update For Monroe County Bottoms

photo - Water creeps up toward Rt. 155 on the west end of Prairie du Rocher. The flood gates were closed May 1. 

Monroe County officials are in monitoring mode as far as the recent rainfall and resulting local flooding. As of Tuesday, the National Weather Service was predicting rain to continue, and the Mississippi River was expected to crest Thursday at just over 41 feet in downtown St. Louis. County Engineer Aaron Metzger said that Bluff Road between Hanover Road and HH Road would likely be closed once the river level hits 40 feet, which may be as early as late Tuesday afternoon.

The Mississippi River at the St. Louis Station is currently predicted to crest Thursday afternoon at 41, which would be five feet higher than what was predicted on Saturday and about 8 1/2 feet lower than the record flood of 1993 (49.58 feet). The Mississippi is expected to crest at 45 feet in Chester by Thursday. As a rule of thumb, Monroe County levee officials usually split the difference between the St. Louis and Chester readings.

The Meramec River is Missouri (due west of Monroe County) will experience the worst flooding in the area. The two-to-four inches of rain expected tomorrow and Thursday won’t help the situation.

"So far, we're not hearing of any problems with (levee district) pumping," Metzger told the county board on May 1. 

County Emergency Management Director Ryan Weber told the board that 6,000 sandbags are ready to be filled at the county's facility near Valmeyer if the situation arises later this week.

The Prairie du Rocher levee gate was closed at noon yesterday, May 1. The gate is located on Rt. 155 on the west side of town. Folks living between the village’s levee gate and Ft. Chartres were told to make necessary arrangements. In addition, precautionary sandbagging is underway in Prairie du Rocher. Village officials appreciate volunteers and have used the bags leftover from the winter of 2015-16 high water event.

All of the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District construction sites are performing as designed, according to Chuck Etwert, chief construction supervisor of the district, which includes the northern tip of Monroe, as well as all of St. Clair and Madison Counties. The three-county flood prevention district is in the midst of several levee improvement construction projects in the three-county area. Work has been shut down because of high water levels.

Additional updates on this high-water event will be provided as the situation arises.