GRANITE CITY, Ill. — When Jayme Marmuziewicz walks down the stairs to her basement, she slips on a rubber boot learning from her experiences just 36 hours ago.
"I came barreling down the stairs," she remembered. "[My] feet hit the floor and 12 inches of water. The toilet was just pouring out."
What came through her toilet and basement shower was a mix of stormwater and sewage.
"I heard the pumps went down," Marmuziewicz said of rumors about what caused the flooding. "I heard they were shut off or backed up. I've heard it all."
Mayor Ed Hagnauer also heard it all, but he said there's no truth to rumors about massive pump failures or forgotten "switches."
"We had one pump go down for a short time over here at Clark and Terrace Lane," Hagnauer said. "We immediately called the pump company out, they came so it was working again."
Instead, this was a perfect storm of issues: first, they got eight inches of rain in about three hours, much more than they're used to. That water "supercharged" some sanitary lines forcing water back into basements.
A third issue is what Hagnauer calls "the ditch," a channel that drains water for the eastern side of Granite City, the maintenance of which is contracted out to a third-party.
"The ditch itself hasn't been maintained properly," Hagnauer said. "We have some big issues with that. We've addressed those [with letters from an attorney]. They haven't been answered, so we are going to address them again when this process is over."
It's still too early for Marmuchevitz to think about cleanup. She estimates it'll cost about $8,000-10,000 to redo their finished basement, money not covered by insurance.
Hagnauer is meeting with state elected officials to tour the damage in Granite City Wednesday. He's applying for a disaster declaration which could help them with grant money for recovery.
The city also plans to put dumpsters in about a dozen locations Wednesday for drop-off disposal.