Flood cleanup enters 2nd week; FEMA says damage meets threshold for help

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The piles of personal items ruined by last week’s flooding and now piled along curbs in University City are almost as tall as the floodwater was high. The mound of flood-soaked items in Lorraine Richardson’s front yard almost covers the entire yard.

Her daughter, Monique Bolden, helped her carry bags of trash to the pile.

“I don’t think everyone knows how bad it is,” she said.

University City began bulky item trash pickup service on Monday to remove the piles of trash. Some neighborhoods had dumpsters to use but those filled up quickly.

“We got sucker punched, man we got hit hard,” said flood victim, Jon McGinnis.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson met with a representative of FEMA, along with state emergency management agency personnel and local elected leaders on Monday in University City. They discussed preliminary estimates on damage and community needs. Parson said that the area had enough damage to meet the requirement to qualify for federal assistance.

“It’s about picking up the pieces now, about us making sure we have all the tools to get people back on their feet. That’s a priority that we all agree on,” he said.

Besides the massive cleanup ahead, flood victims are dealing with the disruption to their lives and the long list of important items they’ll need to replace.

“I got to get a washer and a dryer, so many things, a hot water heater. All that stuff. Everything in the basement is gone,” said flood victim Iva Vaughn.

Some flood victims have flood insurance, but most do not.