EAST ST. LOUIS, IL. (KTVI) – The floodwaters have receded but the cleanup is just beginning. One neighborhood hit hard by flooding is blaming the city of East St. Louis, not Mother Nature.
It’s a neighborhood the Mayor of East St. Louis acknowledges if prone to flooding but he says yesterday’s storm was extraordinary. Residents feel the city could have prevented them from once again being flooded out of their homes.
Yesterday when the rain fell it filled a water drainage ditch and overflowed, flooding several homes. One disabled woman had to be carried out of her home. Some residents spent the night at a shelter set up by the Red Cross. Others refused to leave.
They say the city is responsible for the rising water because water pumps were not working and the city will not spend the money to fix it. Lenroy Short wished he could move. “This is going to keep happening, whether I say or leave. Going to have the same problems. They need to do something.”
Mayor Parks admits the controller for the pumps is broken, keeping the pumps from running at maximum efficiency. But he says the pumps themselves are working. He says the neighborhood has had issues of flooding off and on for 20 years because of the ditch and also because the homes are in a low lying area.
That’s of little comfort to residents who are tired of seeing their homes damaged by floodwaters.