It won't approach the historic Meramec River flood levels in Arnold and South County, but the Meramec River is on the rise, expected to reach a peak of 32.7 feet at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). And, as soon as it crests, it is expected to start receding, down to 28.7 feet on May 10. The river level was at 29.3 feet Friday, according to the NWS. Flood stage is 24 feet.
This year's flood level is a far cry from the flood of 1993 that crested at 45.3 feet, or the '82 deluge, which reached a crest of 43.9 feet, or even the 1994 flood, which was 41.7 on the river gauge.
All of those floods caused significant damage and road closures in Arnold and neighboring South County.
This year, the road closures are the usual suspects, low-lying areas that are flood-prone even in the event of relatively minor river levels.
The NWS has it all mapped out and, due to years of following the rising and falling rivers in the region, can tell where the problems will be. Follow along as the NWS tracks the flood stages affecting Arnold and South County as the Meramec River rises:
- at 27 feet - Meramec Bottom Road between Wells Road and Kerth Road begins flooding.
- at 29.3 feet - River level on May 3, 2013.
- at 30 feet - Wells Road below Suson Woods begins flooding.
- 32.7 feet - Expected crest on May 10, 2013.
- at 34.5 feet - Widman Park along Telegraph Road begins flooding near this height. Also, Meramec Bottom Road floods near Quail Creek Golf Club.
- at 36.4 feet - New Baumgartner Road near the Mattese Creek bridge, southwest of Heintz Road, begins to flood.
- at 36.5 feet - Houses on Cool Valley Drive east of Highway 141 begin flooding. In Arnold, the corner of Convair Drive and Douglas Drive begins flooding.
Those Cool Valley and Convair Drive residents should have nothing to worry about this year, unless the NWS forecast changes dramatically. The NWS forecasts take into account any rain that occurs in the prior 24 hours of a prediction, as well as any rain predicted in a subsequent 24-hour period. There is more rain on the horizon, with a 30 to 50 percent chance of more precipitation expected Saturday and Sunday.
Meramec River towns have experienced more severe floods, and unless this year's version takes a turn for the worse over the next few days, it'll all be done by next weekend when the Meramec rolls through town at a more leisurely pace and a much lower level.