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Location & Transportation

While largely populated, much of South County is unincorporated. It is the most homogeneous area within St. Louis County and major communities include Fenton, Lemay, Mehlville, Oakville, Affton and Sunset Hills. The start of the Ozark Mountains and Ozark Plateau begin in South St. Louis County and neighboring Jefferson County. Many communities have an abundance of gently rolling hills.

The foothills of the Ozark Mountains begin in southwestern St. Louis County, with most of the rest of the county being fairly level plateau. This western part of the county is the least developed, due to rugged topography. Bluffs along the Mississippi in the south of the county rise about 200-300 feet above the river. A major floodplain area is the Chesterfield Valley, in the western part of the county, along the Missouri River, formerly called “Gumbo Flats” after its rich, dark soil; it was submerged by at least 10 feet of water during the Great Flood of 1993, but recent development there is protected by a higher levee.

The Columbia Bottom is a floodplain in the northeast of the county at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; this is a conservation are open to the public. The Missouri bottom area between the two other floodplains is largely agricultural, but is being increasingly developed.

The River des Peres drains the interior of county before flowing underground into the City of St. Louis and then resurfacing to form the boundary between southern portions of St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Other streams include Coldwater Creek, Bonhomme Creek and Creve Coeur Creek, flowing into the Mississippi River; Kiefer Creek, Fishpot Creek and Grand Glaize Creek, flowing into the Meramec River; Deer Creek and Gravois Creek, flowing into the River des Peres; and Maline Creek, flowing into the Mississippi River.

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