Flood Waters Reach Near-Record Levels in Mo. Along Meramec River

March 25, 2008

Residents’ trust in their community’s new levee was justified Saturday as the earthen wall protected their town from the Meramec River, bloated by heavy rain that caused flooding across the Midwest.

The Meramec crested about midday at 37.8 feet, its record there is 39.7 feet, the National Weather Service said. That was just over 3 feet below the top of the levee.

Upstream in Eureka, the river crested several hours earlier at 40 feet, below that town’s record of 42.9 feet.

The high water pushing against the other side of the Valley Park levee didn’t bother customers at Meramec Jack’s bar and grill, where owner Tracy Ziegler was pouring cold beer Saturday morning.

Ziegler, 47, had been confident all along that the levee would hold.

“I haven’t even lifted my computer off the floor in the office,” said Ziegler, who bought the bar in 2005, just after the Army Corps of Engineers finished the levee a few hundred yards away. “Why would they spend $50 million if they expected it to fail?” she said.

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