FESTUS, Mo. – Both the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District and Missouri Department of Transportation have taken precautionary steps Tuesday afternoon in case flash flooding becomes overwhelming.
Employees at the Festus Waste Water Treatment Plant were gearing up. The plant has been hit by floodwaters in the past. A levee rings the plant and it has been raised by three feet.
A generator was put in place. If the plant loses electricity, the generator will supply power to lower the floodgate if water from the nearby creeks and rivers back up into the sewer system and, ultimately, overwhelm the treatment plant.
A few years ago, floodwaters stopped operations at the plant. Workers have been proactive since them. MSD officials said they’re ready from heavy rain this weekend.
“Typically, this plant is not staffed 24 hours a day but we actually added extra staff to man up in anticipation of the heavy rain that we’ll be getting tonight and into the weekend,” said Sean Hadley, MSD spokesman.
Meanwhile, MoDOT crews were out in force on Interstate 270 between Olive and the Mississippi River. They were cleaning out sewer grates to keep roads open if there are flash floods.
We’ve seen in the past how deep water can shut down interstates and highways. Cars can float away and, in some cases, motorists drown.