ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Months after flood-waters dropped, the sandbags meant to protect homes along River Des Peres are still in place, with many of the bags along Germania between I-55 and Morganford supporting tall weeds growing out of the fabric.

"I didn't move here to look at that," said Germaine Clark. "I'm tired of seeing it and it's horrible."

Clark says she is so tired of looking at the old bags, she even started calling her alderman about it.

"Get it done and over with," said Clark.

In spring, city crews put the bags up to fight rising floodwater.

"They did rather well. They are like a whole one-yard solid sand you put up all at once, but with equipment and less labor," said Todd Waelterman, director of operations for City of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. "We had some hard working people down there working day and night to keep the river where it belonged."

But taking the bags down hasn't moved as quickly.

"They came and picked up some of them and then left all the rest. I guess they got busy," said Shane Donovan, who also sees the bags from his front door.

"It's mostly about labor," said Waelterman. "We are in some real nice times here with the economy so it's been real hard to hire people. We've been running this entire summer at about 3/4 workforce. We have over 800 positions open in the city that we are unable to hire for. We just don't have people lined up wanting to come to work."

He adds, once the water was gone, they had to prioritize other projects.

"You start picking from the post important, what impacts the most people, and work your way down," said Waelterman.

Officials with the St. Louis Health Department confirm with News 4 that they've been in touch with the mayor's office about the sandbags and that they do not pose any public health risk.

After News 4 started asking questions about the bags on Monday, a city crew returned to pick up and dispose of more of them.

"I talked to the crew and I said, 'When are you going to get this done? I'm tired of these people calling. I know we have priorities.' And he said, 'We get a free crew, we go!'" said Waelterman.

But he warns they won't all be gone right away.

"They guaranteed me they would be gone by spring," said Waelterman, which would be nearly a year from when they were put up. "That's right. It could be. But you also have to think this flood lasted a third of a year."

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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