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'It's a nightmare': University City families prepare for the start of school after devastating flood

Two weeks after the historic flash flood, many families are still displaced. School district leaders are helping with transportation, food and supplies.

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Valerie Fondren sums up how the last couple of weeks have been since her house flooded.

"It's a nightmare," Fondren said. "I looked out and I seen the rain coming. I was like 'Uh, I don't know.' So, I got up and looked down the steps and that we had in the basement was floating towards the steps."

Her teenage son Christian Tucker lost a lot of clothes and shoes, and his first day back at University City High School is less than two weeks away.

"The school came by and dropped off a backpack with a few items in it, but as far as clothes and other things I haven't got a chance to do any of that," Fondren said.

"School starts in a week. We have about eight days," Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley said.

Bartley has been helping University City families since the morning of the flood.

"We assisted with physically transporting them from the police station to Pershing Elementary School. Brought in just food items, basic care needs, so that their immediate needs could be met," Bartley said.

About 70 people sheltered at the school during the flood. Many of their families are still displaced.

"Many of them who don't even know where they're going to live when school starts, so we're working with them to make sure we can get their children to school," Bartley said.

They've collected and distributed donations; everything from food, clothes and shoes to hygiene products and school supplies.

"If you are a University City family, this is your home, and we take care of our family. So, please reach out to the district and we will do whatever we need to do to make sure that your children are ready to start school on August 22nd," Bartley said.

University City school leaders are accepting monetary donations. If you'd like to help the families, click here.

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