At least one person, and 10 rescue puppies, are dead after torrential rain set off a flash flooding in St. Louis Monday night into Tuesday. More than eight inches of rain fell before 7:00 a.m. yesterday, obliterating the previous 24-hour precipitation record of 6.85″ dumped by remnants of the 1915 Galveston Hurricane.
St. Louis’ rainfall was greater than the combined July and August averages and totals were even higher elsewhere with some locations getting over a foot of rain.
City officials said an unidentified man died when his vehicle was submerged under several feet of water. Climate change makes extreme precipitation events worse and more frequent by essentially turning rain clouds into even bigger buckets — because warm air can hold more moisture, more rain can fall more quickly. The deluge, which is moving east and bringing a multi-day flood threat to the Appalachians, is just the latest in a drumbeat of intensifying extreme weather nationally, and around the world.
“I can’t help but think of all the residents of Centreville, IL—one of the poorest cities in the nation—whose homes regularly flood with raw sewage during typical rainfall events,” Manda Chasteen, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Laboratory, tweeted Wednesday. A “crisis,” she added, “which is hardly limited to Centreville.” (St Louis Post-Dispatch, Washington Post $, Axios, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, NBC, USA Today, NBC; Records: (New York Times $, USA Today; Trends: Yale Climate Connections; Puppies: St Louis Post-Dispatch, Weather Channel; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)