ST. LOUIS-(KMOX)—Did MSD equipment failure cause basement backups in south St. Louis during the big weekend thunderstorm?
That’s the concern of Alderman Fred Wessels who says some 40 properties near Grand and Bates flooded, despite MSD pumps that are supposed to prevent backups.
“There are pumps that are supposed to protect the residents in this particular area from basement backups,”Wessels said, “Either they didn’t work or they were insufficient. So, MSD needs to get on the stick and see how they can help these folks.”
Wessels says there was a power outage in his neighborhood during the Sunday morning thunderstorm, but he doesn’t know if that affected the MSD pumps.
A power outage at an MSD facility in north St. Louis is blamed for the hour-long delay in opening flood gates, which forced sewer water to geyser from basement toilets near Interstate 70 and Shreve, flooding dozens of homes. MSD has taken the blame for that neighborhood’s troubles, offering to pay for repair and the depreciated value of personal property.
Wessels was joined Thursday by Central West End Alderwoman Lyda Krewson in describing a flood of phone calls from MSD customers in their wards wanting more help from MSD than they’re getting.
“You know, we can’t see the sewers,” Krewson said, “We don’t really know what’s wrong. All we know is when the water backs up we know something is wrong.”
MSD spokesman Lance LeComb tells KMOX that so far MSD has found no evidence of equipment failure that contributed to the sewer backups, apart from those near 70 and Shreve. But LeComb says the investigation is ongoing.