ST. LOUIS – Crews are preparing for the potential impact of heavy rain and rising water. The University City Fire Department is staying on top of the weather with a new flood warning system.

Preparations are underway across the area for the incoming heavy rain. The University City authorities said with the new system they encouraged residents to sign up for CodeRED alerts.

After the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning, tornado warning, or flash flood warning, residents will receive automated alerts. To receive these special alerts, residents must opt-in. The system operates 24 hours a day.

“Stormwater commissioner placed three sensors in the River De Peres,” said Deputy Fire Chief Fred Kramer with the University City Fire Department. “This is an early warning system; it gives us 40 to 45 minutes lead time if the rain starts getting worse and worse.”

In July 2022, University City experienced record rainfall, resulting in widespread flooding in hundreds of homes. Since then, University City has taken precautions to ensure that residents are safe.

“The last flood we had 8 inches of rain in an hour, so this will actually give us a warning a lot quicker,” Kramer said.

Meanwhile, as the St. Louis area could see several inches of rain, the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is taking proactive steps to help prevent flooding and targeting flood hot spots around the city.

“MSD Project Clear is ready for the rain tonight, we want to make sure homeowners are ready as well,” said Bess McCoy, a spokesperson for MSD. “Every day, our crews are out cleaning and inspecting every inch of our sewer system, making sure it’s clean and clear and ready for rain events like tonight.”

Road crews like those at MoDOT are trying to get ahead of the forecast by clearing debris to minimize the risk of drains clogging.

“Last few days, we knew the rain was coming, and we had crews out checking drains,” said Bob Becker, district maintenance engineer for MoDOT. “Making sure everything is running properly and working the right way.”

To sign up for CodeRED alerts, click here. You must be a University City resident.