Garbage still piling up in East St. Louis after flooding - KMOV.com

Garbage still piling up in East St. Louis after flooding

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Trash that was most likely cast away by drivers through the area threatens to pile up and cause more flooding on Collinsville Road in East St. Louis. By KMOV Web Producer Trash that was most likely cast away by drivers through the area threatens to pile up and cause more flooding on Collinsville Road in East St. Louis. By KMOV Web Producer
A trashbag tossed aside on a sidewalk leaves a lonely rose on a street in East St. Louis. By KMOV Web Producer A trashbag tossed aside on a sidewalk leaves a lonely rose on a street in East St. Louis. By KMOV Web Producer
This area was flooded after trash piled up a drain in East St. Louis. Traffic was backed up and the Interstate was closed for hours while the mess was picked up. By KMOV Web Producer This area was flooded after trash piled up a drain in East St. Louis. Traffic was backed up and the Interstate was closed for hours while the mess was picked up. By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- Less than a week ago cars were submerged and rush hour traffic was backed up for miles because of flooding on Interstate 55/70 through East St. Louis. Sewers were overwhelmed with rushing water and garbage.

On Sunday afternoon garbage was visible up and down Collinsville Avenue through downtown East St. Louis. According to Kirk Berry, "a lot of trash comes from people going in the trash cans or people who just drive down the street and throw the trash out sometimes, people just don't care. Berry works for the Greater East St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. Berry says the problem demonstrates a need to organize community groups to clean up the persistent mess.

The problem extends beyond the downtown area, there is plenty of litter along the interstate through the city. The interstate was closed for several hours last Wednesday to clean up the mess.

According to Jeff Abel with I-DOT, "when you have that much rain it washes it (debris) into the lower area, and that debris can clog those grates. Abel says I-DOT is proactive when it comes to cleaning drains, and it has street sweepers out two to three times a week cleaning the areas around the Poplar Street Bridge complex.  That area includes where I 55/70 and 64 merge. Abel says up to four inches of rain fell in the area in less than two hours, and that lead to the massive flooding.

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