BRIDGETON – Southern Baptist Disaster Relief crews continue post-flood work in a large area of St. Louis.
“It was an unusual and different type of flood, but there are some good opportunities (for helping people),” said Toby Tucker, St. Louis Area Coordinator for Missouri Disaster Relief.
Unlike river flooding where flood waters linger in homes, the July 26th downpour, which according to weather sources at times measured two inches an hour, rushed into homes and quickly left.
“This was the first urban/suburban/rural event we had. It hit in the middle of the city. It was an inner city flash flood event. Drainage creeks filled and overflowed, causing some sewers to back up. We didn’t see what they saw in Kentucky where homes washed down creeks,” Tucker said.
As of Aug. 18, 115 work orders had been completed, but there were that many to go. The affected area went from downtown to Wentzville, largely along the I-70 corridor.
“FEMA figured there were seven thousand applicants for help. … It seems like we get six orders done and seven more come in, when people see us working and their friends come for help.” he said.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams have been from Kansas/Nebraska, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and of course Missouri. Teams from New Mexico and Arizona were expected to join the ranks.
Tuckers said many of the homes were older, brick homes along drainage canals and were full of items.
One of the challenges has been working with various municipalities regarding debris removal. Dumpsters are difficult to get now.
Tucker toured one drainage canal some 25 feet below with debris into the chain link fences on the road.
“We (Southern Baptist Disaster Relief) are a ministry of compassion, but we’re also a mission group. … We’re planting a lot of (spiritual) seeds and watering them for the gospel to grow, so people can be saved. We provide help, hope, and healing,” Tucker said.
Missouri DR is stationed for disaster response at Fee Fee Baptist Church, Bridgeton.