Prepare Now for Rising Floodwaters

The Department of Health advises residents to consult their emergency flood plans, check emergency supply kits, and listen to local media for updates.

May 3, 2019 | 2 min reading time

This article is 3 years old. It was published on May 3, 2019.

Areas close to the Mississippi River are being impacted by rising river levels, including areas in the City of St. Louis. The flood stage is 30 feet and the forecast from the National Weather Service in St. Louis is for the Mississippi River to crest near 42.5 feet Monday morning.

The City of St. Louis Department of Health joins the National Weather Service (NWS) in reminding drivers to never drive cars, trucks, or vehicles through flooded areas. The depth of the water may be deceptive and may be too deep to allow for safe passage. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the most common deaths relating to flooding occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater.

“Taking a few simple steps now can help protect a person’s health and safety during an emergency,” says Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of health for the City of St. Louis. “Preparing now can save valuable time when an emergency occurs.”

The Department of Health also advises residents to consult their emergency flood plans, check their home and vehicle emergency supply kits, and stay tuned to local radio or television stations for weather and safety updates. Family plans should include measures to ensure pets will be in a safe area if flooding occurs.

Residents without an emergency plan for flooding are advised to use the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Ready in 3 emergency planning steps.

Create a plan – Know how to reach family members and that everyone has a safe place during an emergency. Plan for the need to remain at home, but to also leave for another location, depending on the situation.

Prepare an emergency kit – Stocking food, water, batteries, and first aid supplies will assist if an emergency results in the inability to leave. This should include at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. Packing cards or books can help pass the time until the emergency passes.

Listen to information – Staying informed and calm will help with knowing where to go to leave dangerous areas. If there is no electricity, have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio available to hear the latest updates.

Emergency alerts can also be sent to cell phones or emails through Nixle, a community message service used by the City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). This service is offered FREE to residents, but check text messaging fees apply. Text your zip code to 888777 or visit to opt into the alerts.

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