The Great Flood of 1993 affected nearly 30,000 square miles along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and caused close to $15 billion in damages. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the flood’s size and impact was unprecedented and is considered the most costly and devastating flood in modern U.S. history.
Despite major efforts to try and save the facility, the South St. Louis home of the Defense Mapping Agency – or DMA – was lost in the flooding. Three years later, Congress appropriated funds to purchase land south of St. Louis to build a state-of-the-art office and printing facility for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, which absorbed DMA operations that year. In 1998, the 34.5-acre site in Arnold, Missouri, opened for business. The facility consolidated operations drawn from St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Bethesda, Maryland.