North City residents see trash build-up in storm drain, News 4 gets results

Heavy rain over the weekend led to flash flooding in neighborhoods across the Metro.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Heavy rain over the weekend led to flash flooding in neighborhoods across the Metro.

North St. Louis City residents, like Robert Amerson, are telling News 4 their sewers are filled with trash and that only made the problem worse.

“What if it had been an all-out downpour for an hour,” Amerson said. “How deep would the water have been then? If you get three feet of water in a matter of minutes, it’s a serious problem.”

Amerson said he looked down the storm drain after the water receded and saw it was filled with trash.

“It was just slapped full,” Amerson said. “Full to the top. How long it takes to accumulate that much trash, I have no idea.”

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District said it inspects and cleans storm drains across St. Louis City and County as often as a couple of times a week or as little as once every two years.

Sean Stone with MSD said although the trash build-up didn’t cause the flooding last weekend, it also didn’t help.

“When we get the kind of rains we got this weekend, you’re not always going to have enough pipe for all that water to go in at once,” Stone said. “The last thing we want to do is constrict those pipes with debris.”

After News 4 called MSD to report the trash in the storm drain on N. Kingshighway, one of their 10 cleaning crews came out to clear the debris.

“It was because I called channel 4,” Amerson said. “Because if anybody saw this sewer and how full of trash it was, they would know that’s an ongoing problem.”

With more rain coming, MSD is asking people not to be part of the problem.

“Don’t pile up leaves around the storm drain by your house,” Stone said. “Don’t dump your lawn clippings in there. Don’t litter. Don’t leave things laying around your yard that might get carried into the inlet when it rains.”

MSD said if you have a problem with your storm drain or see it is filled with trash, you can call their customer service line.

The number to call is (314) 768-6260.