Granite City homeowners in the midst of clean-up after recent flooding

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GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Granite City and a number of agencies have been trying to get their hands around the flood cleanup problem that has affected some 400 homes. The water came up quickly Monday. The problems left by the flood will linger a long time.

“I’m emotionally exhausted. I’m physically exhausted,” said Stacy Wright, whose home was flooded.

Wright showed Fox 2 the progress she and the crews she’s hired made in cleaning up her basement. Ruined belongings sit on the front lawn. She’s been told it will cost her as much as $500 to rent a dumpster. It’s the second time in two weeks her home was flooded.

“I feel defeated. I feel defeated. How many times do I have to keep doing this?” she said.

Some help is on the way. City officials and a number of not-for-profit organizations met behind closed doors to come up with a plan to help folks get their homes back in order.

“We’re very grateful that these people reached out to us,” Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer said. “We didn’t know we have these resources available.”

The mayor signed a disaster declaration request and is sending it to the governor.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief has 32 cleanup crews ready to go to fix up what nature damaged. They plan to bring in more teams if needed from other states. And it’s all free.

“We’ll take the drywall out to four feet, all the insulation, pressure wash the house, get it dried out as best we can, and then we treat it for mold,” said Dennis Felix, a representative with the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief.

Maria Vinson’s home was hit hard. Her finished basement filled with water. Now her friends—even strangers—are getting rid of the mess. She worries if flooding has happened once will it happen again. Is it safe to invest thousands of dollars making repairs and installing expensive items like a new furnace?

“We don’t’ have any confidence in this. We don’t have any assurance that this won’t happen again; that we will be okay,” Vinson said. “My kids are very sad right now. They want to come home. They’d be heartbroken to see how it is right now.”

The city will distribute free dumpsters around town. A center that will offer help from a number of organizations to flood families will be open Saturday and Sunday at the Granite City High School.

People can also file a claim with the city concerning losses the mayor said it will be up to the city’s insurance company to pay the claim.

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