Living in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, I remember the flood of 1993. It was amazing as the water from the mighty Mississippi River came pouring down from the northern states of Iowa and Minnesota. Talks of crest and leveeys were rampant. Sandbags and the communities that built them in rapid speed trying to out-race the water were thrilling. For the most part the results were nothing short of both amazing and tragic.
According to Lee W. Warson Chief, Hydrologic Research Laboratory Office of HydrologyNOAA/National Weather Service, Damages totaled $15 billion, 50 people died, hundreds of levees failed, and thousands of people were evacuated, some for months. The flood was unusual in the magnitude of the crests, the number of record crests, the large area impacted, and the length of the time the flood was an issue.
Looking back, I remember going down to the riverfront during the Fourth of July which normally would hold Fair St. Louis. There was not much of a fair, but still people came from all over the country to see the wonder of the flood waters as they covered Leonor K Sullivan Blvd where people would normally walk the banks of the front. The water rushed through at a mighty speed carrying anything in its path with it. People were talking pictures and sight seeing as if it were a The Grand Canyon. It was really something.
For the sightseers, while we were hypnotically captivated by the waters, many in Grafton, Earth City, portions of Hazelwood and Alton etc. were washed out of homes and communities. This was the mother of natural disasters. I remember feeling and praying for those stranded and homless. People’s lives were thrown for a loop. And most recovered. The same will have to be said for this season. And it may be more difficult than ever. Think of the people in Iowa who were told they didn’t need flood insurance this year.
Whether it be a tornado in the midwest, hurricane on the East or South Coast, or wild fires on the West, the eyes are still amazed by the wonderment of nature when it takes its course. This time I was prompted to take pictures to record a small piece of this history. As you will see, even the pictures of the Gateway Arch looked rather gothic and mysterious on this night. God bless those who were flooded, and those who fight the waters… feeble as it may seem.