How riverfront flooding could affect Fair St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - Fair St. Louis could feel the impact of the massive flooding downtown on the St. Louis rverfront.

Fair organizers tell us they hope to have Fair St. Louis on the Archgrounds but the flooding could potentially cause complications.

For example, all of the vendors this year are scheduled to be on Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard. But that area is underwater and will be for some time.

David Estes, the General Chairman of Fair St. Louis, says the Fair will happen on July 4th, 5th, and 6th. He tells us the plan now is to have the Fair on the Archgrounds with concerts, air shows, and fireworks.

But Estes says there is a contingency plan if floodwaters force a change. However, Estes won't disclose any details yet.

Fair officials have been talking a lot with Mark Fuchs from the National Weather Service in Weldon Spring.

Fuchs says there are two key river levels for the Fair.

At 38 feet, the Mississippi River will reopen to barge traffic-. That's important because the fireworks are launched from barges.

At 34 feet, water is off of Lenore K. Sullivan, where the vendors are supposed to be set-up.

As it stands now, the Mississippi is projected to crest at nearly 46 feet on Saturday, the second-highest crest ever, behind the Flood of 1993.

We talked with Fuchs about getting to those key levels in time for the fair.

"Good chance we'll be below 38 by then. I'm optimistic about that just based on history. 34 (feet) is going to be touch and go," he said.

Estes says it will take about a week to clean Lenore K. Sullivan after the water is off it.

"The safety of the fairgoers, the staff, the volunteers, our sponsors is and always will be our number one priority," he said. "We're going to have a heck of a birthday party."

Estes tells us at this point, there is no definitive date for when a final decision will be made on whether Fair St. Louis will be held on the Archgrounds or elsewhere.

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