Missouri Winter Flooding

 AmeriCorps St. Louis members assist in mucking and gutting of affected properties by removing any material that may be contaminated from flood waters (2016)

AmeriCorps St. Louis members assist in mucking and gutting of affected properties by removing any material that may be contaminated from flood waters (2016)

Torrential rain started on December 26th, 2015, and lasted for 3 days, during which 9 to 14 inches of rain deluged much of Missouri and parts of Illinois, according to the National Weather Service. Thousands had to evacuate their houses; businesses abandoned shops and stock; Amtrak stopped its local train service for 4 days; and long stretches of the I-44 and I-55 interstate highways, as well as 200 state highways, were closed down. Members from the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, in coordination with the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the City of St. Louis Streets and Parks Department, deployed on December 28th to run a critical sandbagging operation along the River Des Peres. Throughout the day, members managed roughly 600 volunteers in bagging over 40,000 sandbags to help save communities adjacent to the river. Over the next few days, teams went door to door in hard-hit neighborhoods in Arnold and Fenton, assisting homeowners in sandbagging and debris removal.

In early January, FEMA made an Emergency Declaration (3374-EM-MO) for the flooding. With that declaration, CNCS sent additional AmeriCorps members to St. Louis to assist the other team members and commence a full-scale disaster response. Since then, over 100 members from AmeriCorps St. Louis, Washington Conservation Corps, National Civilian Community Corps, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa have deployed to the flood operations across the state of Missouri. AmeriCorps members have been involved in almost every aspect of the response, including homeowner intake, mucking and gutting, debris removal, mold sanitation, call center operations, MARC operations, and volunteer management. Operations continued in eastern and southwestern Missouri as members work with FEMA, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, local Emergency Management Agencies, and other partners to identify additional unmet needs and communities that needed support.

News links:

  • The Missourian - AmeriCorps Helping Flood Victims Find Place to Stay
  • Fox2 - Shelters open to help heat the homeless
  • Fox2Now - Volunteers fill sand bags at River Des Peres