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Pacific faces tough recovery as flood waters start to recede

PACIFIC, MO (KTVI) - As the Meramec River starts to recede in Pacific officials still want residents to be alert for the possibility of flash flooding.

Chief Chris Clifton of the Meramec Ambulance District said the most recent batch of rain is not expected to cause the Meramec to return to its crest but could cause flooding in other areas.

“We could see flash flooding in the Cedar subdivision on Osage Street and where main creeks run down from the north,” said Clifton.

Pacific Police Chief Matthew Mansell said some 200 homes were evacuated due to flooding.  He said the flooding is especially tough on residents who were flooded during the December 2015 floods.  Some of those flood victims had just finished making repairs.

Some businesses started cleaning up Wednesday.  The owner of Pacific Plaza said several of the businesses renting space in her complex took on water.

“It’s incredibly stressful,” said Cherie Francois.  “It’s really hard you know to see people under so much pressure to try to save what they can and then go in and clean up.”

One of those business owners is Gale Wessling.  He owns Angel Investments Community Quick Cash.  The business flooded in 2015.  He was busy Wednesday trying to clean water out of his business so he can be up and running as soon as possible.

“Every time this happens Pacific loses a few more homes, not that they lose the people, but the people lose their homes and have to relocate and that stinks,” said Wessling.

The American Red Cross has a shelter in Pacific.  Some of the flood victims staying at the shelter say the toughest part is not knowing when they’ll have a home again.

“I am grateful for the Red Cross,” said Nicole Baue.  “We wouldn’t have anywhere to go if it wasn’t for here.”

“I’ve been here at this shelter since Monday and I’m very grateful to be here because I’d be in my car if it wasn’t for this place,” said flood victim Jeff Forbis.

“It’s so heartbreaking for me,” said flood victim Amber Bauer.  “I never went through anything like this before and I feel for everybody who lived here before in 2015 when this happened and is doing it all over again.”

Baue hoped the way volunteers have rallied to help others will become a contagious act.  She said, “I think that’s what’s keeping our spirits up.”