Flood clean-up continues in Festus

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FESTUS (KTVI) - A tough and nasty job is underway in Jefferson County, as flood victims try to move forward after their lives were turned upside down Wednesday night.

Residents on Dual Drive near Festus spent Friday afternoon cleaning up.

“You just want to cry that’s about it, it’s aggravating,” said resident Tom Edelman.

Edelman spent more than $60,000 remodeling his basement last winter. Flood waters rushed in through the basement windows and a door Wednesday night destroying everything including a $5,000 pool table.

“There’s nothing down there but a big mess. Everything’s destroyed; furniture, leather chairs, couches, pictures, antiques, family stuff,” Edelman said.

Bob Stinson lives next door.

“Pretty brutal, pretty brutal,” he said.

Brutal is a good word to describe Stinson’s life in the past two years. In 2014, a fire burned half his home. Now flood waters have turned his rebuilt dream home into a living nightmare. The backyard pool is full of mud.

Stinson and his wife took refuge on their bed when flood water began to rise in their house.

“Water was just swirling and rising and the wife was pretty broken up about it – crying,” he said.

The Stinsons watched fish swim around the room, a dead one was found in their closet.

Nearby, the Wesley United Methodist Church is collecting items for flood victims, like clothing, water and hygiene products.

“It’s obvious that people care for each other in this community and it’s just amazing they have come so quickly and we get phone calls from all over,” said Pastor Karen Tutak.

The donations will help flood victims immediately but both Tom and Bob think the government needs to step in and give folks a big hand so people can get back on their feet.

“We’re praying we get some help, this is life altering,” Stinson said.