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University City officials still working to pick up trash 1 month after flooding

City officials said there were many reasons for the delay in trash pick up, including city buildings being ruined by the flood.

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Piles of trash still sat in front of homes in University City Monday, more than a month after record flooding.

5 On Your Side finally got answers for frustrated neighbors in that area.

For weeks, people had looked at trash flowing into the street and blocking traffic.

After 5 On Your Side talked to the city manager about the issue things changed.

That change was night and day on Ferguson and Vernon avenues in University City.

Earlier on Monday, one whole side of the street was lined with garbage. 

Piles of trash were in front of almost every single home and took over the street, but that afternoon, most of the mess was cleared.

5 On Your Side spoke with long-time University City resident Yvonne Redmond earlier that day, before the trash was cleared. 

"It's just nasty, it's dangerous," she said.

Like many of her neighbors in University City, Redmond was still dealing with the three feet of water that filled her basement on Tuesday, July 26.

"I got 15 steps going to the basement, and so when I got about five steps down, I said, 'Oh no,'" she said.

While Redmond continues to recover from everything she lost, she was also still dealing with something else on Monday morning: trash.

"People are coming by, just slowly, looking at this mess, you know, and shaking their head and stuff. It's a shame," she said.

Redmond was hopeful that the city would clear her street, but she wished it had been done faster.

"I feel bad but what can I do? I'm just a 73-year-old, good-looking woman. So what can I do? Nothing, except call the county and fuss," she said.

City Manager Gregory Rose said they knew once the flood hit that the pick up of leftover items and trash would take a while, even before they started.

"The scope of the area that was impacted was going to be broader than anything that we had ever experienced before," he said.

Rose said what really added to the delay was that their own facilities were flooded. 

That's why, he said, they had to call in for some extra help.

According to Rose, Clayton, Ladue and Richmond Heights all helped University City with its cleanup.

"We have a mutual aid agreement with surrounding cities that we executed that allowed us to start that cleanup process," he said.

That process actually started on Aug. 1, so officials are still trying to make it through the whole city. 

Then, according to Rose, they'll come back for the second round. 

"We're doing everything that we can to address the cleanup situation, we understand that it is a very high volume, but you know, we're going to pick it all up," he said.

Rose is hopeful everything will get fully cleaned up within the next 30 days.

Most of the homes along Vernon and Ferguson avenues are condemned, so he said the full recovery process will be ongoing there.

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