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Major flash flooding causes headaches for businesses in downtown Eureka

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EUREKA, Mo. - Parts of downtown Eureka are cleaning up after a massive early morning storm dumped several inches of rain, leading to flash flooding and water getting into businesses.

Fans were running all over downtown Eureka Monday, drying out businesses that took on water from the torrential storm. Several feet of water inundated the downtown area, swamping some cars and getting into about a dozen businesses.

Fox 2 spoke with several business owners. All of them tell us they got about a foot of water in their buildings.

The National Weather Service said five and a half inches of rain fell in Eureka during the massive overnight storm, most of it between about 3:15 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday.

"I can't ever remember this kind of flash flooding before. It's really kind of awe-inspiring that that much rain could come down in such a short period of time to cause water to enter our building," said Casey O`Dell, the owner of O'Dell's Irish Pub and Ale House.

Downtown Eureka is no stranger to flooding. The area dealt with major flooding from the Meramec River in both 2015 and 2017. But this was different because it was flash flooding and unexpected.

The torrential rain simply too much for a nearby creek and downtown drains.

"This was just a lot of water. You know, I saw water going down the sewers, I saw the creek ... looked like a class 5 rapids, just the amount of water going through there," said Division Chief Scott Barthelmass, Eureka Fire Protection District.

Nobody was hurt. Several of the impacted businesses in the downtown area hope to reopen Tuesday.

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