ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The city of Valley Park is urging some 350 homes and 58 businesses to evacuate by noon on Tuesday. The Meramec River is expected to crest behind an earthen levee on Wednesday.
Valley Park Mayor Michael Pinnese tells KMOX he has confidence that the levee will hold. However, just to be safe he wants everyone in low-lying areas to evacuate the area.
“People understand what the river can do,” says Pinnese. “They’re getting ready to move out, they don’t really want to, but they know what the river has the capability of doing to them.”
They’re getting all their stuff to higher ground and getting out of the Village Green Estates in Cedar Hill, along the flooded Big River.
Resident Debbie Gore says the water came up so fast many had to be rescued by Fire Department boats.
“The Fire Department had to come back when we had to call them back here, because there were people that were stuck in their homes and could not get out,” Gore says.
So far, 73 homes have been evacuated and many seniors are feeling the strain of it.
“Well it’s not good for me anyway, because I have a bad heart,” says a Cedar Hill resident. “It’s really bad, really terrible. There’s nothing you can do – you feel so helpless.”
No one was hurt in the Cedar Hill evacuation. More than 70 homes are affected there.
Pinnese says there are a few residents are refusing to leave their homes. He adds police will keep a list of where they are in case there’s an emergency.
The Wednesday morning crest is projected to fall just a few inches short of the December 2015 crest.