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Nearly 2 months after historic flooding, Metro East residents still wait for federal help

"I know everything has a process, but we need help and my patience will soon run out," Marcus Harris-Pride said.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — "July 26 was devastating and traumatizing," Marcus Harris-Pride said.

He will never forget that summer day. It's when record-breaking rain flooded his East St. Louis home, left cars submerged and caused extensive damage to his home in the 700 block of Terrace Drive.

"I'm 5'7 … So it got up to my neck," Harris-Pride said. "It's just been overwhelming. It's taken a mental toll on me."

Two weeks ago, Harris-Pride toured his flood-ravaged neighborhood with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials. However, he still hasn't received any disaster-relief assistance.

"We need some financial assistance like ASAP because people are ready to get back to some normalcy," added the frustrated resident.

Two doors down from his home, neighbor Carole Foots is a bit discouraged by the seemingly ongoing delays in assistance from the federal government.

"I'm not really optimistic with what FEMA is going to do," Foots said. "Having to rely on other people outside our community to help rebuild is a hard situation  to be in."

Foots' former high school classmate is now helping her with repairs. She also has flood insurance.

"It's working, but it doesn't cover all the damages," she said.

State officials said nearly 800 residences in St. Clair County sustained minor to major damage due to the July floods. Five homes were destroyed.

A FEMA spokesperson told 5 On Your Side that Gov. J.B. Pritzker submitted a disaster declaration to the federal agency on Aug. 30. But so far, no decision has been made.

The spokesperson said all aid requests will be reviewed but couldn't provide information on how long the process will take.

In the meantime, flood victims in East St. Louis said their lives remain in limbo.

"I'm gonna take it one day at a time," said Foots, who is currently living with her son and daughter. "God hasn't told me to go anywhere, so I'm optimistic I'm gonna be sleeping in my bed soon." 

"I'm being patient, but my patience is going to run out," Harris-Pride said.

RELATED: FEMA approved $33 million in assistance for residents affected by July flooding

RELATED: St. Charles businesses hit by flash flooding on the mend after weeks long cleanup

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