By JIM SALTER
(ST. LOUIS, AP) — More than 7 inches of rain in parts of Missouri led to scattered evacuations, power outages, flood warnings and a boat rescue for a woman on the verge of giving birth.
The downpour late Sunday and early Monday followed a weekend of heavy rain in the St. Louis area and southeast and south-central Missouri, along with southern and western Illinois.
Several thousand people in the St. Louis area lost power due to the overnight downpour, and many roads in St. Louis County were flooded.
Some 50 miles to the south, about 30 homes were evacuated in De Soto when heavy rain caused flash flooding.
“It came up pretty rapidly,” De Soto Police Chief Rick Draper said. “Around 3:45 a.m. is when we started getting some calls.”
The sudden surge of water went down about as rapidly — by mid-morning, residents were mostly able to return home, where some found water damage, Draper said.
At the height of the brief flood, a woman stranded in one of the homes went into labor, Draper said. Rescuers were able to boat to the home and get the woman to an ambulance, which took her to the hospital. Draper hadn’t heard whether she delivered.
Parts of St. Louis County, especially in the Florissant area, received more than 7 inches of rain from late Sunday night into mid-morning, and the rain was still falling, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Walsh. Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri had about 8 inches of rain for the weekend.
Rain was also heavy in portions of Illinois. In Granite City, near St. Louis, several streets were impassable due to flooding. The Belleville News-Democrat reported that several vehicles were stranded on a flooded road with water up to the doors.
Walsh said the Mississippi and Missouri rivers were not expected to climb above flood stage, but the Meramec River in the St. Louis area is expected to see minor flooding starting as early as Tuesday. The Meramec reached record flood levels in many spots during a rare December flood, but Walsh said nothing so severe is expected this time.
More rain is expected into Tuesday morning, Walsh said.