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'It is not easy': Flood victims receive supplies, assistance in south St. Louis County

Katie Kettler said the rain flooded her son's new apartment, ruined his collectibles and revealed something only a mother would know.

LEMAY, Mo. — Flood victims from last weekend's devastating rain got some much-needed help on Saturday.

Nine organizations from across the city came together to hand out cleaning supplies and provide assistance to those impacted.

The parking lot at Hancock Place Elementary School was unusually busy for a Saturday morning.

Ann Vastmans, Emergency Management Specialist with the St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management, said there was a steady flow of cars all morning long.

"We opened at 9 a.m., but we had people lining up well before that," she said.

One of those people was Katie Kettler.

"Just within like two days, he already has mold that has started to grow in some of the stuff," she said.

Kettler's son, Kyle, was one of many impacted by last weekend's flooding in South St. Louis County.

"I had taken him to work, and we came back with one of his friends and a friend came in and said, 'I must have attracted some mud in here,' and when we turned on the lights, we knew exactly what had happened," she said.

The light revealed muddy floors and soaked valuables, and it was all inside an apartment that Kyle had just moved into two weeks ago, according to Kettler.

"Brand new bed, brand new couch, everything gone," she said.

Kettler said the rain ruined Kyle's collectibles and revealed something only a mother would know.

"I don't think he would actually come right out and say that he's heartbroken, but I can see it on his face, and as a parent, that's gut-wrenching," she said.

The Kettlers were one of many families impacted by Mother Nature, which is why Vastmans said the St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management set up the "Point of Distribution."

"We saw a lot of flooded basements, a lot of people that had supplies that were destroyed and so we wanted to help with that cleaning effort," she said.

According to Vastmans the help came from multiple organizations in the form of cleaning supplies to future assistance.

The organizations included the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, St. Louis City and County Community Organizations Active in Disasters, The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, MO Disaster Relief, MO Foodbank, MO United Methodist Disaster Response and BJC Healthcare.

"Usually, these things happen when we have large disasters and when we have emergency declarations. However, even though we don't have an emergency declaration for this flood, we did determine that there was a need within the community and so we went ahead and got it organized," Vastmans said.

For people like Kettler, the extra help is everything.

"It is not easy. My son works paycheck to paycheck and so it's nice to know that there are resources and that there's help out there," she said.

Vastmans said the best way to prepare for future unexpected flooding is to make sure your storm drains are clear.

If you were unable to make it out on Saturday and still need help, you can call 211.

According to Vastmans, there are 10 dumpsters spread out throughout the community to help with the cleanup.

You can find those locations here.

You can also help Kettler's son here.

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