ST. LOUIS — For many of us, the basement is where we keep most of our memories; old pictures, childhood toys, but residents in South St. Louis say those memories are now destroyed after their basements were completely flooded.

"You gotta get through it before you can do anything else. We're all in disaster mode I guess," said Vicky Grass.

Grass said everyone along Louis Street is cleaning up their flooded basements after a pump station failure along River Des Peres sent sewer water rushing into their homes.

"I'm pretty good during a disaster, and it's afterwards that I'll probably just sit down and cry for a little while, right now I'm OK," said Grass. 

Grass said the flooding destroyed replaceable things like her car.

"It's pretty painful, we saw that this morning we knew that was gone." 

And irreplaceable things, whose value lied in the memories they evoked.

"A lot of stuff that meant something to me has been destroyed," she said.

Just around the corner on Germania, Guller Sulieyva said this flood is getting in the way of new memories.

It destroyed all of the dresses she bought in preparation for her daughter's Turkish wedding.

"I have four daughters, she was the last one," Sulieyva said. "I can't work because I have high blood pressure that's why for me, too much money." 

The Metropolitan Sewer District believes a lightning strike caused the pump to go down.

It happened around 4 a.m. Thursday, and if you ask Eric Allen, the aftermath was certainly a sight to see. 

"Basically what you had was a gusher by the pump and basically you had a car stalled out, it was like a flood like a flash flood," said Allen.

And while this flood may have washed away tangible memories, Grass said there is a bright side.

"Nobody's hurt. that's awesome, that's the good news and we're grateful for that," said Grass.

MSD released this statement: 

MSD Crews Responding to Power Failure at a River des Peres Pump Station

A power outage at one of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s (MSD) Pump Stations along the River Des Peres has caused water to back up into homes along Germania Street. MSD crews responded to several basement backup calls this morning due to a power outage at the Louis Pump Station which is located near Germania and Louis Street.  Crews were able to restore power to the station within a few hours.

Around 3:30am MSD’s 24-hour Customer Service started to receive calls for water in homes along Germania.  MSD crews responded and discovered that the Louis Pump Station may have been struck by lightning during the overnight storms. The possible lightning strike caused the power to fail, which then caused the sewer system to back up into nearby homes along the River Des Peres. MSD operates seven pump stations along the River Des Peres.  MSD has crews staffed at the various pump stations and will continue to monitor the stations due to the upcoming forecast.

Insurance adjusters and clean-up crews are responding to the area to assist residents who have water backing up into their homes. For basement backups caused by overcharging of the public sewer system, MSD has a Basement Backup Insurance Program that will assist with clean up and recovery.  Overcharging of the sewer system occurs when so much rain enters the public sewer that it cannot handle any more water.  Basement backups that occur as a result of overland flooding, defective laterals or downspouts connected to a home’s internal plumbing are not covered under MSD’s insurance program. 

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