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Thousands remain without power after storms hit St. Louis region

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UPDATED at 11:20 a.m. Thursday

ST. LOUIS — Storms that socked the region overnight Wednesday left about 6,900 Ameren customers without power Thursday morning.

As of 11 a.m., the outages were primarily in Missouri and concentrated in St. Louis County. 

Some 700 crew members for Ameren were working Thursday to try to restore power. At the peak, there were some 15,000 customers without power about midnight Wednesday.

Police made several water rescues along Saline Creek near Fredericktown, and other rescues from flash flooding near Fenton and Romaine Creek Road. No injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service said several rounds of storms had moved through the St. Louis area since about 2 or 3 p.m. Wednesday. By 7 a.m. Thursday, the rain measured at Lambert airport was 4.6 inches for the two-day total.

The rain on Wednesday alone — 4.32 inches — set a record for that date, Aug. 3. The previous record for Aug. 3 was 1.45 inches set in 1946, said Matt Beitscher, meteorologist with the Weather Service office in Weldon Spring.

Other spots reported higher rain totals, including more than 5.5 inches in Sunset Hills, 5 inches in Glendale, 3.8 inches in Hazelwood, and 3.96 inches in Mehlville.

There are two river flood warnings, one for the Dardenne Creek in the St. Peters area and one for the Kaskaskia River in Illinois.

Thursday's lingering rain was moving east, out of the St. Louis region, and should stop by around noon. But it could leave an additional half-inch of rain, or up to an inch in areas along Interstate 70, Beitscher said.

The storm Wednesday came as parts of the region were still wringing themselves out from historic rainfall and flooding last week

In addition to torrential rain, a late afternoon thunderstorm downed trees and powerlines in Alton.

Residents in the area were among hundreds of people who have spent the past week attempting to recover from a storm that brought a record 9 inches of rain to the St. Louis area — and almost 13 inches in some places. The area took another hit two days later, when another 2 to 4 inches of rain fell, causing repeat flooding in some neighborhoods.

A lot of people caught in those floods were seeking aid at John F. Kennedy Community Center in Florissant when rain began to fall Wednesday afternoon. They found help from nonprofit and government entities, including the American Red Cross of Missouri and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The community center opened around 2 p.m. Wednesday, and within an hour 600 people had signed up for help with everything from getting a driver’s license replaced to finding food. More waited in a line that stretched outside into the elements, which prompted organizers to end the event early.

Teaira Wilhite, 24, and Rechard Williams II, 24, were among those seeking help Wednesday. They were there with their 15-month-old son, Rechard Williams III, for more than three hours. They said the flooding ruined supplies for the baby they’re expecting in December as well as furniture like their bed, forcing them to camp out in their living room. Their apartment carpet is still wet from last week, they said.

“We’re doing the best we can,” Williams said.

Several more events for people in need of aid are scheduled later this week, officials said.

  • Thursday: Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, University City, 3-8 p.m.
  • Friday: Friendly Temple Church, 5515 Martin Luther King Drive, St. Louis, 3-8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Annika Merrilees, Austin Huguelet and Kelsey Landis of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this article.

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