St. Louis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as part of its continued readiness posture and response to rising forecasted river stages. The EOC will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"Forecasts have risen significantly the past 24 hours due to increased flows from the Upper Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers," said John Osterhage, chief of emergency operations at the District. "Activating the EOC allows us to respond to high water events, to get our experts out in the field and to support our partners and local communities.”
St. Louis District flood fight teams are ready. A team deployed to the Elsberry area yesterday. Thursday, personnel will deploy to the St. Charles area and teams will deploy to the Metro East, St. Louis, and levee districts south of the city along the Mississippi River in the next couple days.
"We have been in contact with our levee districts to monitor the levees, discuss any issues or concerns regarding the forecasted river heights and offer technical assistance," Osterhage said.
Several non-federal levees in the St. Louis District are at risk of overtopping, including levees near Winfield, Elsberry, Foley and West Alton.
Heavy localized downpours can quickly result in flash flooding or other rapid rises in water levels. In addition, use extreme care when driving and never drive into water since it may turn out to be deeper or faster-flowing than expected.
"We are doing everything we can to keep the people behind the system safe but people should always remember to be aware of surroundings and not drive through flooded areas," Osterhage said.
The St. Louis District encompasses 28,000 square miles and is almost equally divided between Missouri and Illinois.
For more information, please visit the St. Louis District Website at http://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/.