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River Des Peres flood prevention efforts

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis city crews are racing against Mother Nature to try and increase the flood protection along the River Des Peres in south city.

The water in the River Des Peres is projected to get to its second-highest point ever only to 1993 and threaten homes in the area.

Crews used heavy equipment to put up big sandbag-like containers along Carondelet Boulevard and River City Boulevard.

Some of the work happening in front of Dianne Chouinard’s home. She was there in the Flood of ‘93 when water got into her basement. She hopes the work now will hold back the water but she is nervous.

“I worry a lot, not knowing, so you just hope for the best,” she said.

Mary Laux has lived just down from Dianne for much of her life. She was also there in ‘93. Laux is already stacking items high in her basement in case water comes.

“This is very unnerving because I’m seeing it rise daily and we’re thankful that they came out and sandbagged,” she said.

Workers are putting up eight thousand feet of big sandbags that should hold back the water at the current crest projections.

The northbound I-55 exit to Carondelet Boulevard and River City Boulevard has been shut down during the sandbagging and will remain closed until the flood threat ends.

“If we didn’t place these here we’d have houses with water, so it’s important that we build this up. This is the city’s responsibility to maintain the levee height,” said Todd Waelterman, the St. Louis Director of Operations.

Workers hope to have the work completed along River Des Peres by Saturday evening.

At present, the Mississippi River is slated to crest in St. Louis next Tuesday at 46 feet. Workers can continue to build the wall along the River Des Peres so it will hold up to a 50-foot crest.

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