Flooding in Eureka bring new challenges to the city and school

EUREKA, MO (KPLR) – Several communities were under water in West County on Tuesday.  The impact has also forced the shutdown of many school districts. That includes Eureka High School in the Rockwood School District.

"You know it's just tough, I mean it's the people, the kids and the staff and the community is a phenomenal place," said superintendent Eric Knost, "and you don't want to see this happen, you don't want to see the school being destroyed again or parts of it and there's nothing you can do. We are doing whatever we can do and beyond that we just have to wait and see."

Thousands of volunteers were continuing their efforts to fill and pile up sandbags on South Central Avenue. The Air National Guard was also on standby in case there was a need for more assistance with sandbagging.

"This is some of the highest water we have ever seen and it will be higher than 2015," said police chief, Michael Weigand, "and we need to all use our common sense. Don't drown turn around, if you see standing water don't drive through it whatsoever."

FOX 2 also spoke with Mayor Kevin Coffey who said that there are questions as to what can be done to prevent future flooding, noting that there is a problem with how the levees are as set up.

"We are asking for some help with whatever parties can give us a full assessment of why this is happening," Coffey said.

"Is it changing weather pattern? Is it temporary? Is it permanent? I would like to know, so that we can prepare and do what we have to do and I think they need to look at the how they handle Meramec Basin both at the levees and filling things in and storm water detention. Although we've had tremendous rains we need to look at ways to mitigate the damage."

Meanwhile, Knost said that he plans to meet with the state's education commissioner to ask for forgiveness for lost school days.