Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Cites Growing Flood Risk More Development Brings More Runoff, He Warns

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Cites Growing Flood Risk More Development Brings More Runoff, He Warns

Article excerpt

Ray Ferrett, a resident of Saddlebrook, a subdivision southwest of Cottleville, foresees an increase in flooding by the Dardenne Creek as more houses spring up in the area.

In a letter dated Sept. 28 to St. Charles County Executive Eugene Schwendemann, Ferrett said that as subdivisions were developed, the additional water runoff could not be handled by the flood plain. "New regulations are required to control same," he wrote.

Schwendemann said Wednesday that Ferrett was right about the effect of new subdivisions and added, "Concrete and asphalt don't soak up water. The water has to go somewhere."

But Schwendemann believes developers in the county are complying with regulations governing construction in or near flood plains.

Ferrett, 61, is retired and has lived on Saddlebrook Court since 1986. In his letter, he wrote that in the past five years after each rain, "I have watched the water reach ever higher levels." In the most recent rain, he said, water in the flood plain was more than 5 feet higher than the Dardenne Creek bank.

"For the first time," he wrote, "water flowed into my neighbor's basement. If the factors that contribute to this problem are not controlled and regulated by the county government, we will be experiencing serious flooding along property adjacent to the Dardenne Creek flood plain."

Ferrett also was critical of various subdivision homeowners' associations that do not maintain their common grounds.

He said that St. Peters had crews that routinely clean debris from the creek within the city limits but that debris in the creek in subdivisions or elsewhere in unincorporated parts of the county piled up and added to the obstruction of the flow of water.

Ferrett complained that downstream bottlenecks "cause the water to actually stop and then flow backwards. This is an eerie experience if you ever witnessed it."

Brian Faust, bridge engineer for the county Highway Department, said highway workers did not clean creek beds except where debris might affect a bridge or drainage ditch. …

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