EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Some people’s homes remain underwater Thursday night in an area where pets are still trapped. FOX 2 got exclusive access to a rescue boat, which was the only way to get to homes Thursday on Terrace Drive in East St. Louis.

Sharon Franklin hadn’t seen her two cats and dog since Monday. She had no way to reach them until Gateway Pet Guardians responded with a boat.

No one knew if the pets would still be alive. We could hear the cats meowing as the boat pulled up to the home. Water was still inside the house and a wall had collapsed, but the animals all survived.

It was a joyful reunion for a family still flooded out of their home.

Dozens of other families were also stranded.

“My friend got a house out here and it’s underwater,” said Donel Gulley.

Syeta Hicks cannot even see her flooded home from the edge of the water.

“I’m staying with people as we speak,” she said.

While waters have receded in other parts of the St. Louis area, there’s no sign of a difference in this part of East St. Louis.

“It’s still flooded – from like three days ago,” Gulley said.

A 2021 FOX Files investigation exposed a flooding problem here even when it isn’t raining.

The EPA also investigated last year, writing a scathing report about stormwater failures by East St. Louis.

The report mentioned a pump station that officials prohibited us from seeing on Thursday. Last year, we revealed the pump station was not even working when we visited. Two portable pumps tried keeping up.

“What are we going to do about it?” Hicks said.

East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III did not return our email, phone call, or text message requesting comment and answers.

Hicks said the mayor did answer her, saying he will pray about it. She said she has no other answers.