The City of St. Louis is getting organized to respond quickly should the remnants of Hurricane Isaac impact the region as expected this weekend. Storms with possible high winds and heavy rain are expected to hit the St. Louis area Friday and could remain in the area through Sunday.
"I've asked all City departments to start preparing and make the necessary staffing changes to be ready for high winds and heavy rain," said Mayor Slay. "We want to be prepared to keep people safe, clean up debris quickly, and reduce the likelihood of damage from flash flooding."
Labor Day weekend hosts many popular events and festivals, such as the Gateway Cup bicycle races, the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Big Muddy Blues Festival on Laclede's Landing, St. Nicholas Greek Festival in the Central West End, and others. The City of St. Louis reminds all residents to avoid taking shelter in temporary structures like tents and to seek proper protection in case of lightening or high winds.
On Wednesday, Streets Department and Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) officials identified areas that are prone to street flooding. The Streets Department has been cleaning gutters, curbs and cutouts to prevent storm sewers from being clogged with debris and will also be posting no parking signs on streets that usually flood in heavy rain to prevent cars from being trapped. The Towing Division will also have extra crews on call this weekend to remove stalled cars from roadways.
"We remind drivers to avoid driving through standing water," said Streets Director Todd Waelterman. "We tow too many stalled vehicles after strong storms. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and as little as two feet of water will carry most cars away."
The City's Forestry Division has arranged for additional crews to be on call through the holiday weekend to be available for quick clean up and removal of downed trees, limbs and branches. The Building Division has additional crews on call to inspect damage to structures as needed. Health inspectors will be available in the unlikely event of a widespread power outage or flooding.
Where to find information:
City of St. Louis: Residents can call the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB) at 314-622-4800, tweet @stlcsb, or submit a request online at www.stlouis-mo.gov. An operator will be answering from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
MoDOT: Drivers can visit MoDOT.org for highway and state-maintained road conditions. MoDOT urges drivers to take proper precautions in inclement weather.
MSD: If residents have basement backups or area flooding due to overcharged sewers, contact MSD at 314- 768-6260 or visit the website at www.stlmsd.com. MSD has also posted suggested steps residents can take to help protect themselves and their property in case of heavy rain.
Residents can sign up for Nixle to receive emergency weather warnings and other alerts by text message or email. You can sign up at www.nixle.com or by texting the letters "STLCEMA" to 888777. The service is free.
Residents should always call 911 in an emergency.