The battle continues!! As anticipated, this high river event has turned into a very prolonged situation.
The weekend of June 1, 2019 two additional 18" Godwin pumps powered by Cat engines, mounted on skids were set up at the flood gates, to add to the pumping capacity of the tractor driven 16" and 24" pumps already in place. The setup of these two pumps took two + full days last weekend, with the District and volunteers providing some equipment and manpower to get the job done. (See second pic below). All four pumps are running 24/7 except for maintenance shutdowns. Fuel tanks are set nearby to allow for easier fueling of the tractors, and the skid pumps are plumbed directly into a large fuel cell.
After the skid pumps were set, additional rock was brought in via the river levee access from Hollywood casino, to allow for fuel trucks, maintenance vehicles etc., to access the pumps and turn around, without getting stuck in the mud or having to back out on top the levee all the way to the casino.
At normal inflows into the Creve Coeur and Fee Fee creek systems, the pumps are making a difference by slowly dropping the creek level, but with two more significant rain events, including .8 inches in the evening of Saturday, June 1st, and 1" Wednesday evening June 5th, the creek level has risen over a foot, as the capacity of these four pumps is not enough, We need larger and permanent pumps at this location.
As a result of the rains on June 1st and 5th, Creve Coeur Lake water level rose and began overtopping Marine Avenue and sending water to the east, as well as flowing through the railroad ballast on the northwest side toward the Creve Coeur Airport sub-District. This pushed water south into the Little Lake area. Sections of several roads in the area are now closed due to the high water levels.
There is a lot of surface water in the District and this is due to several factors. The first is what's called seepwater. This is due to the prolonged high river elevation, which is causing the groundwater elevations to go up, and actually come to the surface. (See illustrations below, that show groundwater under normal conditions, versus groundwater under high river condition). As of today, the river levee system is holding out approximately five to six feet of water. Second, when the seepwater condition occurs, any rain event cannot soak into the soil, so it adds to the pooled water. Third, as mentioned earlier, the Creve Coeur Lake tributary system is overwhelmed, and it is adding to the surface water problem.
At the flood gates a walking bridge was constructed (see pic below) to allow a safer crossing for maintenance and inspection personnel, over the hoses on top of the levee, which are carrying water from the tractor driven pumps to the river. If the situation gets worse, MSD may have to bring their employees in from the casino, on top of the levee, and have them walk across the pipes and hoses to get to a shuttle vehicle and into their plant. This bridge will help them as well if that occurs.
At this point, the river has crested and we are hopeful that the flood gates can be opened in the next few days. We will probably continue to run at least the skid pumps after the gates are opened, to help evacuate water. We are doing as much as we can to deal with this situation, and I expect this effort will cost the District over $100,000 of emergency funds before it is over with.
Thanks for everyone's support through this situation. This is a physically and emotionally stressful event for everyone affected by, and dealing with, this event.
Warren Stemme President HBLD