St. Louis Flash Floods Trap Residents in Homes After Historic Rainfall

Historic rainfall in St. Louis has left some residents trapped in their homes as they await rescue efforts.

Heavy rainfall has been battering the Missouri city, leading to significant flash flooding. The National Weather Service branch in St. Louis reported Tuesday that the recent precipitation had "shattered" the region's all-time rainfall record, with 8.06 inches of rain records as of 7 a.m. local time. The previous record, 6.85 inches, was recorded over a century ago in August 1915 when the city was hit by remnants of a hurricane.

Reports from the ground in St. Louis show that some residents have become trapped in their homes as they await rescue efforts. Gabriela Vidal, a local reporter with KMOV News, shared photos on Twitter showing streets and buildings engulfed by water, adding that police are urging patience as residents stranded inside await rescue boats.

"Waiting for boats to come pick up residents in this and a couple of other buildings inside the Reserve at Winding Creek Apartments," Vidal wrote on Twitter. "This is the 7411 building. The 7410 unit also has people trapped. I've called Hazelwood PD and they're asking residents to be patient."

st louis flooding rescues
Residents are stranded in their homes as St. Louis is hit with historic rainfall and flash flooding. Above, a representational shot of different St. Louis flooding in 2019. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Roughly half an hour after sharing the photos, Vidal tweeted videos of rescue boats arriving to take people stranded in the 7411 building. According to the information she gathered, she says she estimated as many as 16 people were trapped in the building, necessitating a longer rescue effort. Women and children were taken first.

"From what I could hear, there were at least a [sic] 15-16 people inside the 7411 building at this apartment complex alone," Vidal posted. "Many more still needing rescue, but it looks like women and children are being taken to safety first."

Road Closures

As of Tuesday morning, KMOV reported that all four interstates heading towards downtown St. Louis were experiencing at least one closure due to flooding. Corporal Dallas Thompson with the Missouri Highway Patrol urged drivers in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties to avoid interstates altogether until waters recede.

Authorities in St. Charles County were also urged to stay home on Tuesday, with 911 operators reporting that they are overwhelmed by the number of calls for water rescues.

Numerous regional institutions have been forced to close down or delay opening as a result of the rain, including the iconic Gateway Arch. Other impacted places include Scott Air Force Base and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Food delivery service DoorDash also suspended operations in the St. Louis region due to safety concerns for their drivers.

Newsweek reached out to the St. Louis Fire Department for comment.

Other Rainy Day News

Getting caught out in the rain may not sound too bad if you're in the part of the world experiencing extreme heat, drought and wildfires, but sudden downpours can wreak their own havoc.

A massive flood hit Russia's Sochi on Saturday, leaving streets in the country's largest resort city under water as the Bzugu River overflowed after heavy rains. According to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, at least one person has died.

Last week, the New York City subway flooded thanks to heavy rain, and the video has been viewed 3.4 million times.

And in Texas earlier this month, a group of hikers showed the internet what it was like to be caught in a flash flood, telling people, "Don't be stupid like us."