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Workers try to clear the drains to get water off of Interstate 70 after record rainfall flooded the interstate, closing it and stranding cars near Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. 
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding across a shuttered Interstate 70 at Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell through the night and into the morning on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com
Tuesday’s historic rainfall and subsequent flooding damaged and closed businesses across the area.
In the West End neighborhood, Clark & Sons Funeral Chapel was badly hit by the flooding.
“The whole place is flooded,” said the owner, the Rev. John Clark. The building was filled with about 2 to 3 feet of water, he said.
Fortunately, no funerals or memorial services were scheduled for the next few days, so “I’ve got a little time,” he said.
He plans to fix the damage and remodel, he said, and he remains philosophical about the flood.
“These things, they come and they go and they happen. They happen all the time. What can you do? Thank God we did not get hurt, and thank God that we will remain in business. And thank God that we have insurance,” he said.
The sewer backed up at the Southwest Diner in the Ellendale neighborhood in southwest St. Louis, leaving about 3 feet of water in the basement, said co-owner Jonathan Jones. The water affected the restaurant’s dry storage, office, walk-in cooler and hot water heater, he said.
The restaurant managed to pump out nearly all of the water in one hour with a submersible pump and a 2-inch hose, Jones said.
“We’re across the street from BSI (Constructors), the construction company. They sent over a couple of guys and helped us pump. They’re regular customers here,” he said.
Jones and his staff were still assessing what they’d lost late Tuesday morning after the water was removed. Paper products were damaged, along with bags of flour and other food.
“I’m not sure when we’ll be reopening. We will be reopening, but we don’t know when,” Jones said.
The diner suffered a similar flood around seven years ago, he said, also when a heavy rain backed up the sewer. On that occasion, the restaurant’s flood insurance did not cover the damage because it was limited to the basement, which is below the level of the street.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District claimed responsibility for the problem then, Jones said, so he is hoping they will do the same this time.
Farther west on Southwest Avenue, the Schlafly Bottleworks was also closed because of flooding, according to an employee at the Schalfly Tap Room downtown.
Major flooding also hit the low-lying area around the intersection of Manchester and Hanley Roads in Brentwood.
At Fischer Window and Door, semi-trailer trucks parked at the loading docks were submerged at least to the level of the engines, with the bottom of the trailers also under water.
Inside the store, the water was standing 6 to 12 inches high, said co-owner Ed Fischer. The flood hit both the warehouse portion of the business and the showroom.
“It doesn’t look good,” Fischer said. Because the inventory is tall, much of it is stored upright on the floor instead of on shelves or pallets, and got wet.
Fischer’s brother and co-owner Jim Fischer was on the scene, evaluating the damage.
“It’s a slow process at the moment. They’re trying to move their product,” Ed Fischer said.
Because the business is located just 200 feet from Deer Creek, flood insurance is mandatory, he said.
Flooring Galaxy, which is located nearby but on slightly higher ground on Hanley Road, was also damaged by the water.
Zoe Eisele, who works at the company’s location in Arnold, said the Brentwood store will probably be closed for about a week. The Arnold store remains open.
At Johnny Brock’s Dungeon Party Warehouse in McKinley Heights, the damage was less severe. Water, a couple of inches deep, made its way into the back part of the building.
“It’s kind of common for us, but this is one of the worst times. We have an old building,” said manager Sarah Niswonger.
Most of the merchandise is kept off the floor, partly because of previous floods, she said. But some cardboard boxes containing props and similar items did get wet.
The back part of the building, where the water is, was closed to customers; however the store remained open.
“We’re used to the flooding,” Niswonger said.
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Daniel Neman is a retail business writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Workers try to clear the drains to get water off of Interstate 70 after record rainfall flooded the interstate, closing it and stranding cars near Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. 
Abandoned cars are scattered by flooding across a shuttered Interstate 70 at Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters after heavy rain fell through the night and into the morning on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com
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