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Rain, snow swell creeks, snarl traffic. One dies in flooded creek in Lincoln County

Rain, snow swell creeks, snarl traffic. One dies in flooded creek in Lincoln County

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ST. LOUIS — Two days of heavy precipitation were expected to end late Saturday night, leaving behind scattered reports of flooding, highway crashes, snarled traffic, and a soggy mess throughout the region.

A St. Charles County woman was killed when the vehicle in which she was riding crashed into a rain-swollen creek in Lincoln County; another man was rescued in O'Fallon, Missouri, when the car in which he was a passenger slid into a different creek.

Between sustained periods of rain that began Thursday night and a briefer spate of snow Saturday night, total accumulation varied “wildly,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Tilly.

The Lake Saint Louis area saw 3½ inches of snow, part of a heavy band that ran through parts of Franklin, St. Charles and St. Louis counties in Missouri, and Calhoun and Jersey counties in Illinois, Tilly said.

Other parts of the region outside of that band received considerably less snow. The village of Marissa, in St. Clair County, was only shoe-sole deep with three-tenths of a inch of snow.

But the snow fell on top of considerable amounts of rain. Up to 4 inches of rain fell across the region through Saturday morning, with some areas reporting even more.

The National Weather Service measured 4.13 inches of rain at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport from late Thursday into Saturday morning. The average precipitation for the entire month of January is 2.4 inches, the weather service said. And St. Louis just wrapped up its fifth-soggiest year ever in 2019.

The week’s rain turned some backyards and soccer fields into large pools and made local rivers and creeks treacherous.

Jennelle L. Wulfmeier, 20, died near Elsberry Friday night when the 2005 Silverado in which she was a passenger crashed into Lost Creek.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the pickup truck was driving at a high rate of speed southbound on South 7th Street when it failed to stop at the end of the road. The truck hit a levee and went airborne, landing in the flooded Lost Creek.

The driver, a 21-year-old man from St. Charles, escaped from the vehicle and fled on foot. Wulfmeier could not get out of the truck and was declared dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, a man was rescued from a creek in O'Fallon, Missouri. According to O'Fallon police, he was a passenger in a car that slid into a creek off Mexico Road near Bryan Road. The man’s son, who was driving, escaped safely, but the man had to be pulled from the car by an O’Fallon police officer and two O’Fallon firefighters.

He was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Flooding along rivers and creeks is “significant,” Tilly said, but “it’s definitely not record-breaking.”

Dardenne Creek near St. Peters and the Cuivre River near Troy, Missouri, both saw moderate amounts of flooding on Saturday, each about 6 feet above flood stage. The Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec rivers also overflowed their banks in several areas to a lesser extent, with crests expected to come in the next few days.

After temperatures in the 60s on Friday, the high Saturday reached 47 degrees early before it started dropping off. Lows are expected to hit 26 degrees in St. Louis by early Sunday morning. Snow started to fall by late afternoon and began tapering off several hours later.

Temperatures Sunday are expected to reach to the upper 30s or lower 40s, with the warming trend continuing Monday and Tuesday, Tilly said. But the temperature is expected to drop again on Thursday.

Jacob Barker of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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