The Flood of 1993 reminded St. Louisans that we live next to a big river that is anything but lazy. The damage caused by that catastrophe was expensive for residents displaced, businesses disrupted, and for city departments that broke their budgets protecting neighborhoods and cleaning up when the floodwaters receded. Had all of the City’s floodwalls failed, the extent of the devastation would have been much, much greater.
At a special meeting this past Wednesday, the City’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment — Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, Comptroller Darlene Green, and I approved an agreement with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair and improve the City’s floodwalls. The City and the federal government will each provide funds for an estimated $17 million of work, with the City providing 35 percent of the cost and the federal government providing 65 percent.
Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill, and US Representatives Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan worked hard last year to secure approximately $2 million in federal funds for construction of the improvements this year. It is expected that additional federal funds will be made available each year until the project is complete. These funds will be matched by approximately $1 million in City funds from a bond issue placed on the ballot by the Board of Aldermen and approved by City voters in 2006.
We all want our City to be as prepared as possible in the event of another catastrophic flood event.