St. Louis, Missouri (STL.News) – The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is confident the St. Louis-area will not experience the impact of the Great Flood of 93 as river levels continue to rise. That is what was expressed during a joint news conference with the U.S. Coast Guard in downtown St. Louis on Monday afternoon, where the two agencies provided an update on its “Flood Fight” efforts.
“I’m very comfortable in our urban levee systems here should they go to the historic numbers of 1993, we will be in better shape. The systems are performing as designed.” said Colonel Bryan Sizemore, commander of the St. Louis District of the Army Corp of Engineers.
John Osterhage, chief of emergency operations for the St. Louis District of the Army Corp of Engineers, said the region is much better prepared and protected compared to the historic record flooding back in 1993.
“At this point, we’re not seeing the issues at the comparable stages that we were seeing in 1993. I think that goes back to our levee safety program that we have in place. We don’t just jump in when there’s a flood event and start fighting it. This is my job year round and the Corp of Engineers has a lot of people that work on this year round.” Osterhage explained.
Officials also urged the public to exercise caution, including staying off of levees and not attempting to drive across flooded roadways.
“Public safety is paramount. Please heed all the warnings that you receive from federal, state, and local officials.” stressed Captain Scott Stoermer, Commander for the Sector Upper Mississippi River pf the U.S. Coast Guard.
Currently, the Mississippi River in St. Louis is expected to crest at 46 feet on Thursday. This is about 4 feet below the 1993 crest. However, officials warn that additional rainfall expected this week could increase that crest.