Snow and ice in the winter, Missourians can handle and live quite comfortably.
Flooding is horribly different especially during the holidays. Missourians, particularly in the eastern and southeastern parts of the state, had to contend with near record flooding from the Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec rivers.
The unexpected water was fed by more than 10 inches of rain over a three-day period that began Christmas Day. To put that in perspective for winter, an inch of rain normally is the equivalent of about a foot of snow.
The St. Louis area normally gets 17.7 inches of snowfall — a year. The average is based on data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
In comparison, the Kansas City area normally receives 13.4 inches of snowfall a year. That average is based on data from 1981 to 2010 at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
Although Kansas City received some rain over the holidays, it was nowhere near the drenching that the St. Louis area and southeastern parts of the state got. The floodwater on Monday was continuing to recede, but authorities are worried now about flooding in other states south of Missouri.
President Barack Obama on Saturday signed a federal emergency declaration for Missouri, enabling federal assistance to flow into the state for recovery efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also will get involved, helping residents who’ve been affected.
State officials, including Gov. Jay Nixon, are taking this seriously, knowing that Missouri hasn’t seen flooding this bad since 1993. Floodwater shutdown at least one water treatment plant, closed Interstates 44 and 55 south of St. Louis and disrupted Amtrak service between Kansas City and St. Louis.
The High Ridge, Mo., water treatment plant is operating again, the highways have reopened, and the rail service between the state’s two largest cities is going again. People who had to flee the rising rivers have been let back into the affected areas.
However, now the cleanup is taking place, and it is expected to continue for many families long after New Year’s Day.
The flooding claimed the lives of more than two dozen people in Missouri and Illinois and was responsible for 11 levee failures. The levee damage will have to be repaired to keep such flooding — regardless of the season — from recurring.