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St. Louis Area Hit Hard By Flash Flooding

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Flash flooding hit the St. Louis area hard Monday afternoon.

Flash flooding sent University City residents out of their apartments on Westover Ct.  Three children were trapped inside one 1st floor unit as water started rising.

The force of the water kept the children from opening the door.  Their grandmother and aunt were trying to get to them.

"Water was above the cars," said Karen Belton, the grandmother of the trapped children.

"It was scary, real scary," said Lavetta Robinson. She said police knocked the door down in order to rescue the children.

Fire Chief Adam Long said eight people were rescued from the apartment building and two others from a car.

It`s an area near the River Des Peres where flash flooding has been a problem before.  Two lives where lost in a 2008 flood on Wilson Avenue.

Improvements to the sewer system and a buyout of some properties followed.  Other residents have fought for years for a buyout to be expanded.

"The city would like to work with MSD and the federal government to ensure that this type of situation doesn`t happen again," said city manager Lehman Walker.  He went on to say the city does not have the money for a buyout right now.

Flood victims were able to seek shelter at the Centennial Commons on Olive.  That`s the city`s recreation center located at 7210 Olive Blvd. in University City.

The intersection of Tholozan and Kingshighway was recently flooded with up to four feet of rapidly moving water.

One woman who tried to drive her car through it became trapped and three employees of nearby Ackerman Toyota swam to her rescue.

They got her out of the car and managed to get the elderly driver to safety.

No one was hurt.

The Eads Bridge was flooded on the East St. Louis side.

The mayor asked drivers to stay away from the area until the water level has dropped to a safe level.

Flood waters shut down part of Ladue Road, but not for everyone.  Many drivers kept plowing through, even after one car stalled.

As fast as it rose, the flood waters then receded. You can get through the area of Ladue Road now, but around 4:30 p.m. it could've swept you away.

When we pulled up to a section of Ladue, the water began encroaching on us about one foot every minute.  This was a section of Ladue, west of Lindbergh and just east of Spoede.  It was like a giant lake rushing across the road, in between a couple houses and into a nearby creek.  It was surprising to see how many drivers took the chance of driving across.

At times we could see water appear to cover the hood of a car, yet they kept driving until one driver took the chance in her new Mercedes.  It stalled and had to be pushed out of the water and the driver failed to re-start the engine. It wasn't but ten minutes after that when the water dropped off the road and the traffic picked back up.