Flood debris cleanup making progress, more to go

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- More than two weeks after record-breaking rains caused widespread flooding, tons of flood debris has been cleaned up. But there are still many mounds of ruined personal possessions caused by floodwater, piled high in front of yards and filling dumpsters.

John Wagner is the director of planning and development for University City.

“Slow but it’s coming along. A lot more homes were affected than we first thought and there were a lot more items that needed to be picked up,” he said.

Lorraine Richardson had one of the largest piles of debris in her front yard on Briar Court until it was scooped up and hauled away by city crews on Friday.

“It was so overwhelming to come home every day to check on things. I couldn’t even see the front of my house from the street. I’m just grateful, you know,” she said.

Some of the trucks that University City might be using for the cleanup are parked and out of commission. The city’s main garage near Vernon and Pennsylvania was flooded, damaging several trucks. The neighboring communities of Olivette, Chesterfield, Clayton, Ladue and Ballwin, have sent trucks and crews to help.

In St. Louis, dumpsters are being provided to flood victims by the city. Instead of making piles of debris in their yards, flood victims throw their items into dumpsters that are emptied multiple times a day.

Karen Hecker lives on Hermitage Avenue in St. Louis and had a basement full of water during the flood.

“Slow process with insurance companies but as far as the dumpsters, that’s our big saving grace, that we don’t have trash sitting around everywhere,” she said.

“Yeah, the city has been great about cleaning up this flood debris. We’ve been getting on an average of two dumpsters a day,” said neighbor, Ernie Carr.

News 4 checked with other cities about the progress of their flood debris cleanup. Authorities in East St. Louis said they’ve finished cleaning up large piles of debris. The City of St. Charles said it was making a final pass for debris pickup next week on regular trash days. And St. Peters is still picking up flood debris but residents need to schedule a pickup and crews are limited to 20 per day.