At its happening, the Flood of ‘93 was one of the worst crises to have ever impacted the St. Louis area. There are too many alumni to name who pitched in during the time of need, alumni like Joseph LaGreek Jr., CSci’75, who operated a Ham radio to help keep communication lines open for sandbag deployment, and Claude Strauser, CE’69, who was chief of potamology (river studies) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District. 

But this story focuses on one leader’s push to not only go back to status-quo, but to improve his town. John Bartel, CerE’52, was serving as mayor of Hermann, Mo., and began drawing up plans to make his city even better than it was pre-flood. The community, known for its wineries and German Oktoberfest celebrations, suddenly had a “greenbelt,” complete with bicycle trails and moving businesses to higher ground in-part thanks to his efforts. 

“Hermann’s going to be better off when all of this is over,” Bartels told Missouri S&T Magazine in 1993. “Fortunately I’m semi-retired, so I can take on our city administrator’s duties so he can help the 40 or so Hermann residents who were flooded out of their homes.” 

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