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Flood victims' frustrations continue to rise inside St. Louis resource center

"We're not gonna quit. We're gonna continue these centers likely next Tuesday through Saturday because we want to help these people," said Terry Cassil.

ST. LOUIS — A Hazelwood mom trekked to the flood recovery assistance center at Friendly Temple Church in north St. Louis with her two little girls in tow.

"Right now, I'm gong house-to-house, place-to-place. Tonight we're spending the night in a shelter," said the mom.

She said flash floods recently destroyed their apartment.

"The building has been condemned. We had five feet of water that filled our apartment," she said.

Friday afternoon, the mom was among hundreds of desperate flood victims who completed paperwork, stood in long lines and hoped they'd finally get some help from the state-run center.

"We lost bedding, clothes, furniture, everything," added the mom.

Volunteers from several organizations, including the American Red Cross, assisted the flood victims with temporary housing, food stamp replacement and mental health counseling.

The Multi-Agency Resource Centers have encountered problems.

Heavy rain slowed efforts in Florissant on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday long lines discouraged flood victims.

"I am disappointed and upset, said the Hazelwood mom while crying. 

"We've tried everything," said Amia Fane, who showed up with her 5-month-old and her mom.

"Shelter is the biggest thing. We don't have a home over our heads. It's really frustrating because they have the people from yesterday with their paperwork going ahead of us. Earlier this week were were turned a way twice," said Fane.

"We always want it to be better. We always want to do more because we're at capacity and there are some who had to get turned away today," said Terry Cassil, deputy director of the State Emergency Management Agency.

The final stop for the flood victims was out in the church's parking lot. There they went through a drive-thru style pickup for food, toiletries and other supplies.

Despite the challenges, summer heat and humidity, Danielle Smith left with a smile.

"I think it is a blessing that we have people that are helping the community," said Smith.

"Helping" hands that will do it all again next week.

"We're not sure of the locations right now. That's one of the things we're working on. These folks need our help and that's our job to help and we're gonna be here for them," Cassil said. 

The flood resource center at Friendly Temple Church will open again for those needing help Saturday. The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those seeking help in Illinois, flood recovery centers will be open at East St. Louis High School from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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