Flash Flooding Spreads Into Forshaw Warehouse

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Monday's flash flood left mud and debris scattered across properties that line local rivers like Deer Creek and the River Des Peres.

Two and three-quarter inches of rain fell in the Ladue, Frontenac area in a hour yesterday pushing creeks out of their banks.  The water flooded some 54 streets in the Metropolitan Sewer District area.  Wide spread overland flooding from creeks and streams was also reported.

At least five feet of water flooded a parking lot behind the Forshaw Company warehouse on Lindbergh Blvd. in Frontenac Monday afternoon.  The patio furniture and fireplace retailer put up wooden flood walls to stem the water, but a foot of water spread into the warehouse area.

The water damaged products stored on the floor or the bottom of tall shelves.

The firm located there in Frontenac in 1956.  "It was not a flood plain then," said company president Joe Forshaw.  But since then the company has experienced at least four flash floods that damaged merchandise.  "I think the primary reason is there's been a tremendous amount of development....so there's a lot less permeable earth to the north of us and there's more asphalt," Forshaw said.  That area was designated a flood plain in the 1970s.

"It takes an extreme weather event.  It takes the tail end of a hurricane or it takes a really intense rain like yesterday on top of already saturated conditions," Forshaw explained to raise the creek high enough that it enters the warehouse.

Creek water floated the firm's dumpster and smashed it into a chain link fence knocking down a section of it.   It also moved an employee's car.

Forshaw carries flood insurance, but it will take employees as long as a month to pull the paperwork needed to file a claim and to cleanup the warehouse.

The showroom was not damaged and business is operating normally.

Small creeks and streams can harbor strong flash floods when intense rains come.  That's why the Federal Emergency Management agency urges property owners and renters to buy flood insurance or at the very least basement backup insurance.

TO FIND OUT IF YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD PLAIN GO TO:  www.knowyourzone.org and check out your home address.

The site will also lead you to informaiton about purchasing flood insurance.

St. Louis Area Hit Hard By Flash Flooding

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