New Army Corps of Engineers study focuses on flooding

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ARNOLD, MO – A focus on flooding Wednesday evening at a meeting in Arnold.

The Army Corps of Engineers laid out recommendations for how communities impacted by flooding might be able to better deal with high water in the future.

The recommendations by the Corps are not binding on any community.

But rather they are ideas on how to reduce the impact of future floods.

The Corps findings and recommendations are from a year and a half long study called the Lower Meramec Multi-Jurisdictional Floodplain Management Plan.

The study focuses on eight cities and three counties impacted by flooding along the Meramec River.

Among the cities looked at., Eureka, Pacific, Valley Park, Arnold, and Fenton.

“The intent of the study is to provide a blueprint for the lower Meramec basin as a region- so give some thought as to where the communities want to be 20 years in the future. What is that vision? How do we reduce flood risk,” said Hal Graef, the Project Manager for the Corps of Engineers.

The Corps is making recommendations about nearly 950 flood-prone structures.

The recommendations include some buyouts, raising the elevation of structures, relocating some structures like mobile homes and taking steps to floodproof properties.

“We want to make sure everyone understands what is their risk, what does that mean for them,” said Graef.

At the meeting, people checked to see if their property is on the list of flood-prone structures with a recommendation.

Art Kociela found his Eureka auto dealership, Midwest Motors, on the list.

He flooded in 2015 and 2017.

“We have to have these so we can find out more about floods. Obviously, I`m a car dealer. I don`t know anything about floods so just to learn, to plan,” said Kociela.

Dale Heck and his wife Lynn live near Arnold in a flood-prone area.

They came to the meeting to gather as much information as possible.

“They`re important because they give the people that don`t have no knowledge or know what to do something,” said Dale Heck.

Lynn added, “There should be some way to keep the water away from our subdivision.”

“We do hope people will leave with more awareness. Life, safety is a top priority so know your risk,” said Graef.

The study analyzed data from May of 2017 flood.

It does not offer any recommendations about building anything additional live more levees.

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