ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – A major soccer tournament in St. Charles has been canceled because of safety concerns due to flood waters.
That decision came after a massive effort by the Missouri National Guard to make sure a levee stayed intact.
The Midwest Cup with 250 teams and thousands of kids was supposed to start late Friday afternoon at the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association fields just off Highway 370 and New Town Boulevard.
That will not happen because of the amount of water the Elm Point levee is holding back from inundating the fields.
The Missouri National Guard was called in Thursday to shore up areas of the levee where water was starting to seep through, and 36 guard members from Festus and Hannibal worked all Thursday night into Friday morning to reinforce potential problems areas.
The levee is holding and both the Guard and the Corps of Engineers say they are confident it will hold.
But St. Charles Fire Chief Rick Daly, among others, expressed safety concerns and organizers listened.
One main concern- what if something happened with thousands of people in the soccer complex with only one way in and one way out?
We’re told the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association will lose between $25,000 and $50,000 with the tournament cancellation.
Tournament organizers say the Lou Fusz Soccer Club, which was sponsoring the tournament, will also lose thousands.
But in the end, the potential of something going wrong was simply too much to put aside.