Overnight flash flooding in Festus

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FESTUS, MO (KPLR) – Many Festus residents Lakeside Manor Mobile Home Park on Highway 61 had to suddenly leave their homes last night by boat. It happened at.

“The water was over 61 up this way,” said resident David Birks. “It was over 55 that way.”

Inside Birks’ own mobile home, he said the rushing water left them with no way out except by boat. He said his wife took some convincing.

“She wasn’t getting out in that lightning,” he said. “She said she wasn’t getting out and getting in that boat.”

Birks said the water came from a creek, rushing over a levy next to the development.

“The water was (about chest high). All of our pictures, VCR tapes, everything; that`s what makes me mad. You can’t replace that,” he said.

By about 1 p.m., the water dropped to knee level in most places. Some residents began moving their belongings around in trucks. Others loaded up on boats and pulled the boats by foot.

Christina Cisneros came to check out her mom’s place.

“Our beds are soaked and all of our clothes are soaked. It was a mess and it is a mess,” she said. “There’s mud everywhere. There’s a fish on the floor.”

They keep a sense of humor. They’re safe; so are their pets.

It’s not something these residents live from time to time. Birks said he’s lived here since the mobile home park was built in the 60s and he’s never seen this.

“All the history of this park, it’s never flooded,” he said. “The water has come in from the lake you know, the lake’s got up, but me and my wife was talking about it, we’ve only known of one home in all the years that ever got water in it, you know, and it was in that very low spot in the back.”

The water level was so high at one point, that a rescue boat gouged the top of a submerged vehicle. Residents could wade around in the streets by noon and by 3:30 p.m., the water cleared most streets.