ST. LOUIS - With major flooding expected for parts of Missouri and Illinois some local businesses that are already feeling the impact were rushing to take action Wednesday.
“We are going to spend all day Saturday and probably all-day Friday moving stuff and that’s short,” said John Bloch, of Bloch Marine Services, as he talked with us in one of his shops located in St. Charles.
Bloch said that he’s concerned about how and when he’ll need to start shifting all of the boat servicing tools, heavy equipment, and customer boats, should flood waters get into his shop.
“This (pointing to the Mississippi River) will all come up and little by little you’ll see water encroaching on things,” said Bloch, “and it’ll end up in the pool and it’ll end on all this and sooner or later it will end up in this building.”
Bloch also owns a similar shop out in West Alton where the Mayor, along with the Emergency Management Director and Chief of the Fire District were recommending a voluntary evacuation. That’s also where plenty of roads most of which are to the docks, we're starting to flood Wednesday and have shut down, forcing businesses like Bloch’s to close.
Bloch said usually April is the start of a busy time of the year for business so with the anticipated flooding he expects both businesses to take a hit in revenue.
“We are a seasonal business,” Bloch said, “and so we do a lot of work in the springtime and we depend on spring to where we get a lot of-of our revenue after a long hard winter and this is just going to be another setback for us.”
Meanwhile, St. Louis City officials said they aren’t too worried because they are prepared.
“Unless we get 1993 levels we have plans for all this,” said Kent Flake, Commissioner of Streets, the City of St. Louis. “It’s not a whole lot of concern on our part because we definitely planned for this and we are set up to take care of it.”
Even though some parts of the area are prepared for the worst, people like Bloch said that they know, nature can be merciless.
“The biggest issue is too many levees,” said Bloch, “too many people wanting to wall the river in. I want that kind of development to stop because this river is getting smaller and smaller.”
Fox 2/News 11 also checked with Patti Beck with Bi-State Development who confirmed that all riverfront activities including boat and helicopter tours have been temporarily suspended.