Florissant residents told to contact MSD for flood assistance, s - KMOV.com


Florissant residents told to contact MSD for flood assistance, some believe they're part of the problem

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The state of Missouri has not received federal assistance, yet, but the city of Florissant is trying to document residential damage to prepare for assistance should it be made available. 

The Florissant Police Department is asking two things of residents should sewer back-ups or property damage from backups or flooding arise. 

The first thing residents are asked to do is contact the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), not the city, if they experience sewer backup. The department said the city cannot assist residents, and that when they contact the MSD customer service line, they need to provide specific details of their problem. The number for MSD customer service is 314-768-6260. 

The second thing asked of residents is that if they have any property damage from backups or flooding, they contact Florissant's City Engineer Tom Goldkamp at 314-839-764. Residents can also reach Goldkamp through his email: tgoldkamp@florissantmo.co

Goldkamp will be making a log of property damaged homes if flood assistance programs become available. The log will allow the city to quickly apply for resources should they be made available. 

Florissant Police said Mayor Tom Schneider spoke with Charlie Barnes, who is Missouri Governor Eric Greitens' Chief of Operations. Mayor Schneider appealed to COO Barnes for similar state and federal assistance, similar to the assistance the state saw during the Dec. 2015 flooding. 

During the Dec. 2015 floods, then-Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, and received federal disaster assistance from then-President Barack Obama. 

The mayor is also encouraging residents to sign up for the city's NIXLE program, which sends important community information to residents through text or email. For more information, or to sign up, residents can go to the NIXLE website.

Some Florissant residents believe MSD is part of the problem

Jim Williams, a Florissant homeowner, is trying to sell his home, but first must fix his basement. His basement is one of many homes seeing sewer back-ups and basement flooding if Florissant.

However, Williams said some Florissant residents actually blame the problems on MSD, the organization that is supposed to be their first line of defense.  The problem, homeowners say, is the "blackflow prevention device" that MSD installed.

"Because this backflow preventer is closed, it's not allowing the water to escape from our homes, it's allowing it and forcing it to back up into our homes," said Bob Carmack, another Florissant resident.

Tim Jones, a Florissant councilman, also thinks MSD is part of the problem saying, "MSD is not stepping up to the plate"

"Within the last week this happened two times now and everybody's basements are flooding again, with no furnaces, hot water heaters, nothing for seniors out here and somebody needs to step up," said Jones.

A spokesperson for MSD said they've received nearly 1,000 calls this week, and takes responsibility for about 500 complaints.

"If it is an MSD problem, we take responsibility for it, but a lot of these issues we've seen in North County this past storm, there's a lot of rainfall in a short time, the ground is saturated," said Sean Hadley of MSD. "We've determined a lot of these calls the backflow devices are working like they're supposed to," he continued.

Hadley said homeowners should call to report any problems so they can be investigated, and to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage.

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