East St. Louis announces emergency declaration days after historic flooding

Some neighborhoods still flooded two days later
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Thursday, the City of East St. Louis announced the city has declared a State of Emergency due to historic flooding Tuesday.

A press release states Mayor Robert Eastern III declared the emergency on Tuesday, even though, the press release was released on Thursday.

St. Clair County also announced a disaster proclamation on Thursday, but stated it was enacted on Wednesday.

Many places in the Metro West announced disaster declarations immediately Tuesday following flooding.

“I called the governor’s office today... they have not heard anything from the mayor to declare this a national disaster,” said Denise Smith, an East St. Louis resident whose home is still in flood water near Terrace and State Street. “I had my 2-year-old daughter. So, basically had to carry her out over my head walking through water that’s up to neck high. We’re just wondering why we’re not getting help from FEMA and anyone like that. Most of us has been calling 211 since Tuesday, and we have not got a word back. We have not heard anything. I don’t have nowhere to turn. I don’t have any resources or anything like that. That’s why I’m depending on them.”

Smith told News 4 the city has put stranded residents in the DraftKings Casino Queen hotel, but residents don’t know how long they’ll be able to stay.

“I am shocked it’s still this high,” said Shannon Smith, whose family lives near Mary and Terrace.

Smith told News 4 her niece and aunt had to evacuate.

“Her basement and stuff is flooded,” she said. “I haven’t seen it happen like this in a long time, but if it happened before--I mean--they should know it should happen again. They should put something in place to help these people.”

News 4 contacted the East St. Louis Mayor’s Office on several occasions and a spokesperson said he wasn’t available Thursday.