Howard Bend Levee District has ongoing activity with the current high river situation, and we wanted to provide an update. 1. The flood gates were dropped for the fourth time since the end of March on Wednesday, May 22nd at approximately 9:00 am. As of now, with the river stage at approximately 35.0 feet on the St Charles gauge, the gate system is holding back 4+ feet of river water from entering our district through the Creve Coeur Lake tributary system. At this river stage we have plenty of free board on our main river levee system.
2. A temporary 24" portable tractor driven pump was set up later that day on Wednesday. (See below) Prior to that, a rock ramp was constructed by Guy Litzinger, to allow easier access to the creek for setting the pump in place. Shot rock, 6' minus, and 2" minus were hauled in by Ballmann Earthworks to use for building the ramp. The pump is being powered by a tractor rented from Kelpe Construction. Fuel is being supplied by MFA Oil from Wright City, MO. This pump is running 24/7, except for brief maintenance shutdowns. As this is a prolonged high river situation, bringing more seep water, and more rain predicted for Tuesday evening on, we have set a second pump on Monday evening, May 27th.
3. Levee monitoring has been ongoing daily, with inspections by both myself and Guy Litzinger. The system is operating well at this point, with no issues to report. I have been in contact at least once per day, with the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE through both phone calls, and actual site visits). 4. A "Flood Preparedness" meeting was held on Thursday, May 23 at 3;00 p.m. at Baxter Farms. In attendance was Joe Moore, City of Maryland Heights, Tom Ott HBLD Supervisor and St. Louis County Parks Acting Director, Karen Frederich, District Engineer, Guy Litzinger, Maintenance Superintendent, and myself. This meeting was called as the river crest was predicted for this past weekend and we wanted to be prepared should the crest prediction change to a higher level. Several local property/business owners have provided personnel and or equipment to help with setting up the pump(s), including Creve Coeur Airport, Knobbe Grain Farms, Crystal Springs GolfCourse, Baxter Farms, Stolte Farms, and W Stemme Farms. -2- This is a prolonged high river situation, and it will be a week or more before we can consider raising the flood gates, and shutting down the pumps. (See below) This is the forecast at 10:30 a.m. on May 28lh from the National Weather Service. These forecasts are updated on the half hour and will not be current by the time you read this newsletter. However, you can access this information at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lsx&gage=sclm7
5. Welcome Tom Ott. Tom Ott, Acting Director of the St. Louis County Parks Department, hasjoined the Board of Supervisors and is a very helpful liaison with County government. 6. This will be our last printed and mailed newsletter. In ongoing efforts to keep costs down and with the recent updating of our website - http://www.howardbend.com we will place future communications and items ofinterest on our website. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.