EAST ST. LOUIS, Mo – Officials from the City of East St. Louis performed wellness and property checks Saturday after the water drained from a neighborhood four days after the flood submerged cars and soaked homes.
East St. Louis firefighters said they were able to wash away mud with fire hoses on Terrace Drive at 68 Street. However, the residents are not happy.
“Whenever it rains, we almost have to have our bags packed because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said 82-year-old Teenette Dae, a 50-year resident of Terrace Drive. “My house, even though it looks good on the outside, it has been hit so many times.”
Dae’s daughter Angelea Harlan said she wants her mother to move.
“I hate it because I know my mother loves to be here,” said Harlan. “But I’m hoping my mother will pick up and move on, and she can live the rest of her years in comfort.”
Her neighbor who does not want to be identified said the soiled furniture caused by the flood water smelled rotten. He said a picture of his father was waterlogged on the living-room floor, and he said the damage has never been this bad, but flood waters have been here before.
“It’s like an every two, three, six-year thing.”
East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III said the city planned to clean up the areas affected by the flood.
“We may need more pumps in situations, right? We may need to go and do more sewer work over here,” said East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern, III. “We may need to raise the streets. We may need to buy out in certain situations.”
He said he challenged city officials to research new uses for federal COVID relief funds. He also said the city has applied for grants under the new federal infrastructure law. Eastern said he admits a permanent solution could take years. The unidentified homeowner said the city is meeting their basic needs at the moment.
“We’ve been staying in a hotel. I appreciate my committeewoman. She is a great person. She’s been looking out for us, bringing us something to eat and everything.”
Eastern said the cleanup and search for solutions continues.
“We can’t keep having citizens going through this same thing,” he said.
East St. Louis City officials urge anyone affected by recent flooding to reach out to the following resources: United Way of Greater St. Louis or call 211, The Urban League, Community Lifeline, and City of East St. Louis.