Rainfall predictions continue to fluctuate as the remnants of Hurricane Gordon make their way to Franklin County.
County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Stephanie Norton says, although the major rivers will rise, they should not leave their banks.
“We are more concerned with flash flooding in the low-lying areas,” Norton said. “Because all of the river levels are already so low, they aren’t expected to reach action level. That is the level just below minor flooding.”
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts at press time, the Bourbeuse River at Union is expected to crest at 3.5 feet by Tuesday at 9 a.m. Flood stage for that area is 15 feet.
The Meramec River at Pacific, which flood stage is 15 feet, is forecast to reach 8.5 feet by Tuesday morning and at Sullivan it is forecasted to be just above 9 feet.
The Missouri River at Washington, which already is running higher than usual, due to heavy rains in Iowa, is expected to crest at 17.9 feet Monday morning, just below an action level of 18 feet.
River levels can be monitored by visiting the NWS website at water.weather.gov.
Creeks and Streams
Despite the rivers not being a major worry, there is still going to be a large amount of rain falling in the next few days that has to go somewhere.
The county is urging all residents to be mindful of the smaller creeks and streams near their homes and roadways.
“You can expect flash flooding in areas that normally have high water,” Norton said. “Water can rise quickly depending on how much falls in a short amount of time.”
She added with much of the rain expected to arrive in the overnight hours, drivers should be especially vigilant when driving in known low-lying areas in the dark.
“Just use caution,” she said. “Never drive through water on the roadway.”
Since the storm made landfall in Mississippi Tuesday evening, St. Louis forecasters have changed the rainfall amounts and times of arrival several times.
Norton says the constant changes have made their response even more complicated.
“They just keep saying heavy rain,” Norton said. “There hasn’t been any word on when it will fall and how much at a time.”
She added there are no plans to activate the county emergency operation center, but staff will be monitoring updated forecasts and incoming 911 calls throughout the county.