ST. LOUIS – This week’s severe storms and the flooding they caused have left many people devastated. So the city – including the City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), the Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety and more departments – have begun deploying emergency resources to help residents.
St. Louisans can visit the city’s website at stlouis-mo.gov/flood for up-to-date information.
“Throughout the week, I’ve toured impacted neighborhoods and heard from residents about how devastating record rainfall and floods have been,” Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement. “We are mobilizing every resource at our disposal – at every level of government – to ensure city residents who have been affected can get the support they need. I appreciate the support offered by community groups, regional leaders like St. Clair County Chairman, and everyone who is coming together to help our city recover.”
The city has set up mobile command centers in hard-hit neighborhoods such as Ellendale and Kingsway West. The centers will help residents get food and water; hygiene and cleaning supplies; PPE; and other critical items.
The city is also working with the Urban League of Greater St. Louis to operate an emergency resource center at the Urban League’s headquarters and to help displaced residents get hotel rooms to stay in temporarily.
“The Department of Public Safety is engaging each of our divisions to ensure people can stay safe in their neighborhoods,” Public Safety Director Dr. Dan Isom said. “We encourage city residents in need to visit the mobile command centers closest to them to get the help they need.”
The city’s health department has assembled and distributed 50 care kits, and encourages residents to wear rubber gloves, rubber boots and other protective gear while cleaning up their homes.
Other precautions include keep children and pets out of the flooded area until cleanup is complete; thoroughly cleaning all hard surfaces with hot water and laundry or dish detergent and then sanitizing solutions; and being careful about electricity, gas and other utilities.
“The Department of Health is working with our fellow city agencies to help bring necessary resources to impacted residents to protect their health and safety,” Director of Health Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis said.
The streets department is providing dumpsters in hardest-hit neighborhoods for clean-up efforts. Residents in these areas should leave their larger, bulk items for disposal at the curb or in the street dumpsters provided.
Volunteers from the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Teams will continue identifying where additional resources are needed. People can report flood damage inside their homes by calling the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) at 314-768-6260. For non-MSD issues or information on available emergency resources, citizens should call the Citizens Service Bureau at 314-622-4800 or 211. Residents should take pictures of property damage and save all receipts.
Historic, cultural or arts organizations that have sustained damage to buildings, artifacts, collections, etc. can get advice on handling flood-damaged items (stabilizing, salvaging, preserving, etc.) by calling the National Heritage Responders Hotline 24/7 at 202-661-8068. The National Heritage Responders are a team of trained conservators and collections care professionals who have experience handling a wide range of materials from paper to textiles to paintings and more.
Individuals whose items such as family photos, documents and other artifacts have been flood-damaged can email the National Heritage Responders at NHRpublichelpline@culturalheritage.org. Numerous online resources and links also can be found at FEMA’s Save Your Family Treasures [www.fema.gov] site and by going to the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative at Culturalrescue.si.edu [culturalrescue.si.edu].