It’s only been about a year since On the Line Laundry Bait and Tackle were in the papers and on the news after a transformer, owned by Ameren UE, blew destroying all their machines and leaving them without income for months. Now Mother Nature is taking her toll on the owners, as awkward weather patterns and high amounts of rain have caused the sewage pipes to back up inside the building.
“The first flood put about three inches of water in our apartment and garage. It damaged the ceramic tiles, the carpet, the walls and some of my furniture, which we put on our insurance claim,” explained Donna Reseck, co-owner of On the Line Laundry Bait and Tackle. “We cleaned up everything the best we could while we waited on the first check, which came on a Monday along with more rain.”
According to Reseck, when the second storm came through they were in the process of deconstructing the previous damage, which included pulling the toilet off the floor so they could replace some of the tile. After doing that Reseck said all it did was give the water another entrance and they ended up with six inches of water verse the three they had previously.
“We put a plug in the toilet hole and then it began coming up in other locations,” said Reseck. “Both instances it wasn’t just rain water coming in, it was also sewage water, which we had to shut the business down for about eight hours in order to try and get all that out the first time and about a day the second.”
Reseck went on to explain how she thinks it was partially due to the pumps in town not working properly. After contacting Alliance Water Resources, Marshall Suddarth and a team of employees set out to try and fix the problem. According to him, the pumps are old and are in the scope of work to be completed along with other improvements.
“I know Abel’s Quick Shop and Casey’s General Store have had problems on and off to the point where I know they had to shut down their sandwich station because it wasn’t draining correctly,” said Reseck. “However, the real story is on Second Street. From what I understand, DFS (Division of Family Services) is threatening to take away peoples children because sewer water is backing up under their homes.”
No one was able to confirm or deny any such situation. Although Reseck said she was concerned about the situation she did state that Alliance came in at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 and installed another pump, which help fix the water problem but not the damage left behind.
“We called our office in Lake Saint Louis, which is part of the St. Charles Branch and borrowed a six inch pump,” said Suddarth. “There is really no way to predict or prepare for something like this. It’s kind of like a tornado, all you can do is take cover and try to pick up afterwards. Not saying what happened isn’t bad but these pumps are old and we are trying to do everything we can to make these improvements.”
According Elsberry Mayor Terry Martin, that particular piece of property has always had sewer issues, even when he was looking to lease out the property almost 20-years ago.
“I leased the property from a gentleman in St. Charles and was thinking about buying back in 1990 and there were problems
with it even back then,” said Martin. “When there was a lot of rain we had the same issue. Really the only difference was at that time the floor was all concrete so I just hosed it off and that was that.”
Martin went on to say there wasn’t any tile in it and he wasn’t living in it so it was as much of a problem as what the Resecks are having now. In fact, Martin said when the flood of 1993 happened; he had approximately eight inches of water inside.
“To be honest I have no clue what the city’s stance is on the property and I’m not sure what we can do other than what has already been done and other than what we are already doing,” said Martin. “We have old pumps, old pipes, old everything outside of what we have already replaced but there is still a lot more work to be done.”
Suddarth added he understands someone has to take the blame or the brunt of the anger and he has no problem taking those calls.
“Whether it’s an Alliance problem or a city problem or nobodies problem we will do whatever we can to help and that’s the great thing about Alliance. If we don’t have something we need here, we have other offices that do and as long as we go through the proper channels we can get it here,” said Suddarth. “I’m still learning but I know how to deal with people and will do whatever I can to help. If I don’t know I will find out. If I can’t fix it, I’ll find someone that can or someone that knows. At the end of the day it’s about the community and we will do anything we can to help our community.”
At this point Reseck and her husband Dean plan on attending the May City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 14 and address the issue with the entire board.
“It’s not right and something has to be done,” said Reseck. “We got lucky and were able to rent a RV just so we had a place to sleep but outdated pumps and these constant water issues are just too much.”
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