Several weeks ago, I posted this picture of workers cleaning mud off of the cobblestones on the St. Louis riverfront. The mud had been left there when the Mississippi River rose above flood stage, and then fell back out. I said then that their job was worthy of the television show “Dirty Jobs.”
But as we see in this picture from today, the workers at least have a measure of job security. Since the first picture was taken on April 23, the river fell to 17.7 feet on the St. Louis gauge, rose rapidly to 30.23 feet on April 29 (flood stage is 30 feet), fell back to 19.08 on May 8, and since May 12 has risen steadily to today’s stage of 34.14 at noon, about when this picture was taken.
The river has spread all the way across Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd to the wall on the right, which protects a train tunnel that goes under the Arch grounds. The line of dots you see in the water underneath the light posts are the tops of the posts that you see at the far right of the top picture.
While a flood is always interesting, this is nothing compared to the record flood of 1993, which rose to more than 15 feet above today’s level.
The river’s expected to be above flood stage until about May 24, after which point it will (hopefully) subside back to more normal levels. But when it does, it will again leave behind a few tons of mud for the St. Louis Street Department to clean up.