We now live in St Louis and last week was the 20th anniversary of its Great Flood.flood of 93c

In the summer of 1993 I was in Des Moines mostly seeing the inside of dumpsters.  I was commander of trash removal for the Salvation Army’s warehouse for flood relief operations.  To the south, St Louis was experiencing a combined flow of the Mississippi and Missouri six times its norm while I dealt with the humid earthy smells of Des Moines’ dumpters.  In St Louis on this date the Mississippi crested at 49.6 feet which is twenty feet above flood stage, the record.

I like to dignify any job the SA assigns me.  Most of the things we do are pretty humble.  But for those who suffered in ’93 there was little dignity and much humbling.

Now twenty years later some people live further up from the rivers.  But we’ve also rebuilt the failed levees of ’93.   Where the Missouri River flows west of St Louis, 840 businesses now sit in the flood plain protected by a reinforced levee in a place like Chesterfield MO.  We are confident that there won’t be an overwhelming flood.  That the Chesterfield-Monarch Levee will hold.  That 7.5 million dollars generated annually for Chesterfield’s budget is worth the risks.flood of 93b

Whether flood plains or earthquake zones, we contest forces of nature.  Fond we are of playing riverboat casinos, so too chances we won’t have a repeat 350 year flood such as in ’93.

Humans are resilient.  Stubborn.  Daring.  Stupendously foolish.

We decide where to place farms and shopping districts, our homes and our cities.

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