Brentwood remembers Hurricane Ike as it prepares for potential flooding

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BRENTWOOD, MO (KPLR) - One of the last times the St. Louis area was hit by the remnants of a tropical storm there were huge problems.  It happened in September of 2008.  David Schmitt owns Knight Auto Air Conditioner.  He’s now concerned about the impending weather, “It’s going to rain definitely, it’s going to rain.”

He plans to be ready.  Schmitt will never forget September of 2008 when his business and others in Brentwood were flooded. Remnants of Hurricane Ike devastated the St. Louis area. Neighborhoods were swamped. Roads went under, homes turned into soggy messes. Corn fields were knocked down by high winds. Brentwood was among the hardest hit. Firefighters used boats to rescue residents from an apartment complex. It all occurred when a local creek jumped out of its banks. So, what’s been done since then? Nothing to the creek. It’s too expensive to fix. For communities that are near it. That’s why Schmitt is getting for prepared another wave of problems.  David Schmitt said, “Move all the cars out get all the cars off the lot as well as possible. Put the equipment up and you bring the equipment back down and be right back in business immediately.”

Some of the apartment buildings that were flooded have been torn down and now there is only a big field. Brentwood firefighters were gearing up Wednesday night. They have equipment for water rescues. Plus a Code Red telephone call went out to residents Wednesday evening.  Fire Chief Ted Jury added, “Basically it gives out a flash warning that there’s the potential of flooding and it gives some precautionary things residents should be prepared for.”

Thursday morning firefighters will be going door to door in flood prone locations.  Chief Jury said, “Knock on all residents and business that are involved and were going to give them a heads up and notify them of the potential flooding tomorrow night.”

Five swift water rescue crews are also being established at strategic locations across St. Louis County.  Resident Eric Murdock said, “You don’t want to be caught off guard, if you over prepare that’s better than being under prepared.”

The Brentwood city administrator tells me it would cost $35 million to fix the creek, there’s no way the town has the money, its annual budget is $25 million dollars.

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