FEMA surveys flood damage in St. Charles County

Six days after historic rainfall brought catastrophic flooding to the region, federal officials are surveying the damage.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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O’FALLON, Mo. (KMOV) - Federal officials are surveying flood damage in St. Charles County Monday, as homeowners and business owners continue the cleanup process.

FEMA officials, along with local and state officials, toured the Copperfield subdivision in O’Fallon Monday morning, where more than 80 homes suffered some kind of flood damage.

“We were scared thinking we were going to have to go on the roof,” said Rebecca Riney. “We had eight feet of water in our basement...we’ve lost everything.”

Two neighboring creeks overflowed their banks and are responsible for the flooding, neighbors said.

“I looked down into the basement and the stairwell was already filling with water,” said Roger Czmowski. “Within five minutes, it was over the next step until it finally stopped right before the top step.”

FEMA officials took photographs and notes while talking with affected homeowners.

“A lot of times, the county emergency manager has already wandered door to door, talked to people and he’s got the assessment of buildings,” said Steve Zumwalt, External Affairs for FEMA Region 7, said. “We’re just confirming some of those reports.”

Zumwalt said there are two other assessment teams in St. Louis. All three teams will submit their reports and data to the state. If it’s deemed appropriate, Zumwalt said the governor can then request federal help from the White House.

As the cleanup process continues, Susan Jenkins is trying to make a difference in her neighbors’ lives. She suffered flood damage in her home but considers herself lucky.

“What little I can do to help them, so they can stay working on their house and I just bring them a plate of food, twice a day,” she said. “They see the little white car coming!”

Jenkins said several nearby restaurants have donated food. In combination with some of her homemade treats, she hopes to make life easier for those picking up the pieces.

“I don’t want to ever leave,” said Riney. “Even before this happened, it’s remarkable how everyone has pulled together.”

FEMA officials hope to complete damage assessments by Tuesday evening.