Overnight Deluge Breaks Records, Strands Motorists, And Traps People In Their Homes
A resident who declined to be identified wades through Mississippi River floodwater to his Winfield home on Friday, May 24, 2019. The river is scheduled to crest for a third time over the week. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Record-shattering overnight rainfall — some five to eleven inches — left St. Louis area residents scrambling to manage their commutes or even find a safe way out of their homes when they woke up on Tuesday morning.

According to weather reports, the overnight deluge broke the previous record of 6.85 inches, set on August 20, 1915, as the area was hit with the remnants of the Galveston hurricane. Most parts of the area saw between five inches and eleven inches, but some reported over a foot of rain from Monday night into Tuesday morning.

The rainfall had already surpassed the record by 5:36am local time, when the National Weather Service St. Louis shared an update.

“***Record Daily Rainfall at St. Louis***” the tweet announced. “St. Louis has recorded 7.02″ of rainfall in the last five hours (since midnight), surpassing the old record of 6.85″ on August 20th 1915. Historic rainfall event causing widespread flash flooding this morning.”

“**All Time Daily Rainfall Record at St. Louis Shattered**” the next update read, nearly two hours later. “Through 7AM … 8.06″ of rainfall has been observed @flystl which breaks the all time daily rainfall record from August 20th 1915 of 6.85″ (remnants of the Galveston 1915 Hurricane).”


A number of drivers had to be rescued as dangerous flash floods peppered the region — two of them were even reporters for local NBC affiliate KSDK who were en route to a location to report on the flooding. Once they were rescued, they immediately interviewed the crew that had pulled them to safety.


Sydney Stallworth and Mercedes MacKay have the Pattonville Fire Department to thank for their prompt rescue.

Several area highways were forced to close in an effort to keep motorists away from roads where the water levels posed a significant threat.

“We’re being overrun here,” St. Louis fire Capt. Garon Mosby commented. Six people and six dogs were rescued from flooded homes in the southwest part of St. Louis City — fifteen people chose to remain in their homes.

Author Sarah Kendzior shared a photo of her street, where only the trees and the tops of flooded vehicles could be seen above the water line.

“For everyone asking, my home is currently ok. The power is out but the house itself is fine. However folks in St Louis metro area are going to need a lot of help in the coming days. Please be generous and kind,” Kendzior added.

Julia Avery, reporter for local CBS affiliate KMOV, shared another photo, adding, “Families are swimming out of their houses in Southwest St. Louis. We have already seen the most rainfall in one day in STL history — and it’s just 8am.”

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