Last Saturday, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston and Houston. Early Sunday morning, the remnants of the storm inundated St. Louis with rain. Ferguson got 5 inches in an hour. Of course, I slept through it all.
As I drove to church, I was a bit ignorant of how much rain we had received. I took a route where I didn’t see much flooding. But on my way home, I ran into a LAKE in Ferguson. It was at the intersection of Elizabeth Rd. and Ferguson Ave, where the railroad trestle goes over the road.
I could make out the top of a truck poking out from the middle of the water. A white car was also stranded.
I went to Walgreen’s to buy some film so I could take photos. When I returned to the scene, I found a police officer. She said that early in the morning there had been a man trapped on top of the truck and they had to rescue him. Eventually the lake totally covered the truck.
As I was taking photos, an elderly man whose house is right there on the corner came out to tell me the story of what happened. He said he got his newspaper at 6 a.m. and it was raining. When he came back outside at 8:30 a.m., the lake was there, and the truck was in the middle of it, but already totally submerged.
The man said that as he stood there, a lady in a white car came down Ferguson Ave, and she drove into the water, trying to turn north onto Elizabeth. Well, the water was way too deep, and her car soon began to drift and fill with water. Emergency workers ran over to her and had to help her get out. The elderly man said that she told the workers she was a AAA member, and could they help her get her car out of the water? Of course they couldn’t. The elderly man ended up driving the lady home, but had to take the long way around. She lived in Jennings. He said she was clearly in shock and very rattled by the whole event.
I heard from a member of Ferguson’s CERT (community emergency response team) that many of the streets in Ferguson were rivers. Maline Creek totally overflowed. Many people had feet of water in their basements. There is an apartment complex near the Ferguson License Office that was evacuated because the apartments on the first floor were totally flooded out. All the residents were bused up to the First Baptist Church. She said that even on Florissant Road there was enough water that some cars were being swept down the road.
I didn’t know any of this when I went to church. My route to church via Airport Road and I-70 was just fine, and I didn’t notice any problems on the way. But I heard on the radio that there were several places in Hazelwood and other areas that had flooded out. Pastor Ron mentioned that Pritchard Farm Road (that’s the one of the roads we travel on when we take the way that goes by the dump) had been flooded out and not to drive that way.