National Weather Service officials predict 3 to 5 inches of rainfall to hit the St. Louis region when Tropical Depression Isaac arrives locally, sometime between Friday evening to Saturday morning.
station No. 4 team in Wildwood hosted an emergency preparation session Thursday for all St. Louis County first responder teams. The session involves National Weather Service experts.
Agencies participating included St. Louis County OEM, Region C IST, Metro West Fire Protection District, Eureka Fire Protection District, Monarch Fire Protection District, Valley Park Fire Protection District, Maryland Heights Fire Protection District, West County EMS, Boles Fire Protection District, St. Louis County Police-Wildwood (6th) Precinct, Ellisville Police Department, Ballwin Police Department, Eureka Police Department
Metro West Battalion Chief John Bradley said he thinks the emergency teams are ready, but it all depends on how much rain St. Louis' receives in a short amount of time. "It could be as much as 5 inches, or it could be a steady soaking. The weather reports continue to change hour to hour."
All agencies are reporting they are ready, prepared and waiting to see what happens with the actual storm track.
The National Weather Service expert on the preparation call, Jim Kramper, said the speed which the Isaac-related rainfall comes is key. He said they now have a better handle on Isaac with it being on land for a number of hours. He said the storm is moving slower than anticipated. They currently expect Isaac to reach center Southwest Missouri (Springfield area) by late Friday. He said the heaviest rainfall from tropical storms occurs in the central part of the track and to the east of the track, so monitoring the direction the storm takes once it hits Missouri may adjust plans.
"Having 5 inches of rainfall over 24 hours is not so bad. Having that same amount in 12 hours prompts substantial flooding in urban areas," said Kramper.
One of the biggest concerns of police and rescue teams present is road closures.