Todd Waelterman heads the St. Louis Streets Department. He has been waiting for this day.
From Bommarito Automotive Skyfox, you could see crews working frantically last week to close gates from Madison Avenue on the north to Chouteau on the south. By 5 a.m. Wednesday, the Mississippi at St. Louis was already a few inches above the crest of just over 35 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Waelterman said he has played this waiting game many times before now.
"We're in the middle of this thing,” he pointed out. “So, whatever happens in Iowa and north of there and whole basin controls what happens to us. How much snow they have, how much rain they have. So, we get whatever they give us."
Crews closed and built several flood gates last week, trying to keep St. Louis dry. Where workers were standing last Friday is now under several feet of water.
Waelterman said he was ready for this, because the river fluctuates so much.
Forecasters say the river should start falling later this evening.