Growing number of flooded homes being condemned

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:35 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - It’s been three weeks since record rainfall caused widespread flooding in the St. Louis area. As code inspectors make their way around to each area that flooded, the number of homes that have been condemned has steadily climbed.

In University City, the number is up to 294 homes that have been deemed unsafe for living in. John Wagner, the city’s director of planning and development, said there are three main reasons homes are being condemned.

“Because of electrical outlets that have been underwater and need to be replaced. The hot water heater needs to be replaced if it was submerged. And if there was any mold, basically, anything that would create an inhalation hazard,” he said.

But he said unless there are mold problems, homeowners and renters can continue to live in a condemned home if they’re working toward making necessary repairs.

Niki Bridges rents a house that has an orange sticker on the front door saying the house was condemned. She said she’d missed a lot of work cleaning and repairing and is frustrated she’ll have to miss more to stay home to meet inspectors.

“It just means more hoops for us to jump through, it just means more work,” she said.

The number of inspections depends on the type and extent of the damage in a home.

“We’ll streamline things as much as we can and work with the homeowners to come in when it’s a good time for them,” said Wagner.

Wagner said some inspections can be done early in the morning before flood victims have to be at work.

In Hazelwood, 375 apartments have been condemned. 29 homes were condemned in St. Louis City and despite the amount of flooding seen in St. Peters, no homes have been condemned.