Residents of St. Louis are facing a huge cleanup process and recovery effort that will probably last for sometime.. At least 23 people have been confirmed dead from both Missouri, and Illinois and five still missing as death toll continues to rise. The worst of the dangerous, deadly flood is over in the area leaving most of the residents facing a cleanup process, most of them displaced from their homes and figuring out how to bounce back.
“I have been fervently praying for those suffering due to the recent flooding in our city and state. As our region watched the flood waters rise to record heights, so too did we see the damage, loss, and suffering increase,” Archbishop of St.Louis diocese, Robert J. Carlson said.
“We mourn for those who lost their lives. We know that many homes full of memories have been destroyed. Photos, heirlooms, and other keepsakes are lost. Businesses were devastated and will need extensive repairs,” Archbishop Carlson said.
He declared that all parishes in the diocese have been instructed to raise donations the weekend of Jan. 16-17 to assist the flood victims through Catholic Charities of St. Louis.
“Those most impacted by the flooding will be recovering long after the water has disappeared,” he said. “It is my pledge that the Catholic Church will continue serving those in the impacted areas until these needs are met. This is our responsibility as Catholics, especially during this Year of Mercy.”
More than 10 inches of rain fell on the St. Louis area over three days starting on Dec. 26, 2015 the Associated Press reported.
Yvonne Berry, who is works with the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri said: “Even though the rain has stopped, many families are still in need of basic necessities such as water, food, and shelter.”
Right now, she said, the most important thing is that families know where to turn for help. Local agencies including Catholic Charities of St. Louis, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Lutheran Family Children Services, United Way, and the Salvation Army have teamed up to offer their help in one place, making it easier for families to get the help they need.
“The American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri is sending teams of caseworkers, nurses, and mental health professionals into communities to offer assistance and determine just how much damage has been done. Food trucks have also been sent out to serve lunch and dinner to those still in their homes.”
“The water is starting to recede but our damage assessment team is still out in the community,” Yvonne added.