Sunday, March 23, 2008

Levee Holds at Flood-Threatened Town

VALLEY PARK, Mo. (AP) — Residents of small towns along the Meramec River breathed a sigh of relief Saturday as the stream finally crested following days of flooding caused by torrential rainfall across the Midwest.

At Valley Park, the river rose to a peak of 37.8 feet Saturday morning, well above the flood stage of 16 feet but still below the record of 39.7 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

It was the first trial of the town's $49 million levee, which stands a few feet above Saturday's crest and was designed to withstand the biggest flood that might be expected in a century.

"It's a 100-year event, and it's a 100-year levee," said Army Corps of Engineers Col. Lewis Setliff. "It got tested, and it passed."

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