f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Spanish Street flooding 1951

Posted Monday, May 2, 2011, at 7:30 AM

July 24, 1951 Southeast Missourian

High water or not, retail business goes ahead in the downtown area menaced by the flooding Mississippi River. This picture shows how some of the shopping business has shifted to the block of Spanish street between Independence and Themis after water invaded some of the stores on Main between the same two streets. The picture is a view looking north from Independence. (G.D. Fronabarger photo)

F.W. Woolworth Co. is on the right. The business also had a Main Street entrance.

The July 23, 1951 Southeast Missourian reported the river stage was 41.7 feet. The added pressure of the water evidently caused the fissure in the concrete floor of the Woolworth building to open farther. The front of the store was covered with several inches of water and crews worked about eight hours to remove stock from counters in that section of the building.

The 12 pumps, five gas and seven electric, spewed out an estimated 65,000 gallons of water per hour from behind the sandbag barricade that held about five feet of water out of the store. Business continued at the store with two-thirds of the store unaffected. The Spanish street entrance was open with sandbags keeping the water out on that side also.


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  • love the boat parked on the street. i notice it boat wasn't tethered to a parking meter.

    -- Posted by TommyStix on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 8:59 AM
  • does the lady in the black and white striped dress have one leg ?

    -- Posted by Smoke. on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 11:21 AM
  • She has two legs. She is standing behind a small pile of sand bags.

    -- Posted by slim_pickens on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 4:48 PM
  • thnx !

    must be an optical intrusion

    -- Posted by Smoke. on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 9:27 PM
  • Thankfully the Corps was not involved in the Downtown Merchants decision making process at the time. Now, however, that the flood wall has been turned over to this federal agency, we may find out whether a casino in Rush's hometown is worth more than highly productive farmland in Obama's last home state.

    Capri may rue the decision of The Downtown Merchants to surrender control.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Tue, May 3, 2011, at 12:07 PM