As heavy rainfall continues, the National Weather Service has announced a flood warning for the metro-east until 12:15 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 30, as well as a flash flood watch until today at 1:15 p.m.
National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Laura Kanofsky said this storm has brought record rainfall to the St. Louis area based on National Weather Service measurements.
“The good news is that the rain should be tapering off tonight and tomorrow looks dry,” Kanofsky said
A 30 percent chance of light snow is expected Wednesday, according to the NWS.
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The NWS says a flood warning is different than a flash flood warning, however areas can experience both at the same time. Updates are disseminated every four hours.
An overflow of water onto normally dry land. The inundation of a normally dry area caused by rising water in an existing waterway, such as a river, stream or drainage ditch. Ponding of water at or near the point where the rain fell. Flooding is a longer term event than flash flooding: it may last days or weeks.
A flood caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through river beds and urban streets sweeping everything before them. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. They can also occur even if no rain has fallen, for instance after a levee or dam has failed, or after a sudden release of water by a debris or ice jam.
According to O'Fallon-Shiloh officials, there hasn't been any increase in calls to the fire department or the police department as a result of the weather.
Shiloh Village Engineer Norm Etling said there's only been a report of a downed tree on a private drive, Hideaway Hollow Drive, and no other calls for complaint or concern.
"Our (public works) guys are out in the thick of it and are still working on keeping drains cleared to prevent any ponding in the streets," Etling said. “We had one call of complaint on Sierra Drive, but it turned out to be a private property complaint.”
O'Fallon Police Lieutenant Kirk Brueggeman said there's been no reports in O'Fallon of any weather-related issues.
"Other than Silver Creek flooding leading to the closure of Hwy 50 leading into town, we haven't anything major since I've been in this morning, not even any traffic crashes," Brueggeman noted. "So there's nothing going on in our town that would close anything down."
Brueggeman encourages the public to use caution when out on the roads.
O’Fallon Assistant Fire Chief Craig Schmidt said it’s been fairly quiet on his end at the fire department despite the increasing rainfall, and possibility for public safety concern.
“Aside from the Hwy 50 road closure where Silver Creek runs through between Lebanon and O'Fallon, which is actually Lebanon’s district. But, there's no other road closures or weather related accidents or incidents that we’re aware of here,” Schmidt said.
Hwy 50 between Lebanon and O’Fallon closed
A low-lying,, quarter-mile section of U.S. 50 west of Lebanon was blocked at 9 a.m. Monday (Dec. 28) because of flooding. Several cars trying to get to Illinois 4 from Pistor Road to Illinois 4 south of Lebanon were stranded when heavy rains caused flooding that swept over the surface.
John Crump, an Illinois Department of Transportation worker who drove his pickup to the edge of the flooding U.S. 50, said, “I’ve never seen it this high.”
Lebanon Fire Chief Matthew Berberich, who coordinated rescue efforts on Pistor Road, said motorists in the stranded vehicles had been helped to safety.
Pointing to the ditches on either side of the flooded road, he said, “The water there could be 20 feet deep.”
Motorists should take precautions while driving on rain-slick roads, and should not drive into standing water.
Cloudy skies mixed with some sunshine are forecast for Tuesday, with only a slight chance of rain. Colder conditions are expected, with a high of 38.
Forecasters said Monday should see a high of 51 with a chance of thunderstorms, with wind gusts reaching as high as 54 mph. The chance for rain is nearly 100 percent during the day before dropping to less than 10 percent after 7 p.m.
Highs in the upper 30s and a mix of clouds and sunshine are forecast for the rest of the week, with only a slight chance of rain on Wednesday. New Years Eve, the holiday itself and the weekend should be dry with highs in the 30s.
For more information visit http://www.weather.gov/.