50+ Homes Suffer Sewage Flood in St. Louis, MO after a system failure by the local sewer company. The Problem: Six inches of rain fell in the Dryden neighborhood of North St. Louis, MO in June 2011 and had nowhere to go after a system failure by the local sewer company prevented the flood gate from opening. This failure caused upwards of 8ft of sewer water to infiltrate the streets and around 50 houses around Dryden Court and Dryden Avenue, in some instances even blowing manholes into the air. The floodgate that failed would normally be opened already, but due to high water levels in the Mississippi, had been closed as a precaution. A power outage at one of the sewer company’s pump stations was to blame for the electrical line malfunction and, ultimately, the floodgate failure. Woodard was called immediately to help, and we reached out to national partners in the restoration industry to help us scale up to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Solution: The local sewer company took complete responsibility for the damage and called Woodard in to mitigate at no-cost to the homeowner. Woodard brought in a large loss trailer and set up a command center as soon as possible to begin mitigating the neighborhood. We called in all available staff – both office and production – to help in any way possible, and recruited reinforcements from an outside resource for an all-hands-on-deck approach. Within 4 hours of the initial call to our team, we had two 48’ trailers, around 20 vehicles, and at least 40 technicians on-site, ready to work. The following day, we had over 100 technicians in the neighborhood, helping the families in need. Woodard’s mitigation process on this job included: Extracting all standing sewer water Cleaning and sanitizing floors and salvageable structures Removing drywall and/or wood that would be unsafe to keep Drying units entirely after cleaning Assessing belongings for salvageability or disposal Photographing disposed items for replacement through insurance Offering hotel rooms for some families Providing ongoing support for all homeowners in the area by answering any questions or concerns Woodard’s crews spent 4 days working around the clock in this neighborhood until the homes in need of mitigation had been cleaned, dried, and disinfected. Summary: The residents of this neighborhood were not at all happy to need us when we first showed up at their door, but they were absolutely thrilled by our quick response time and expert mitigation services. We took care to prioritize our list by families with children or elderly loved ones, and this really resonated with the entire close-knit neighborhood. We have a very strong relationship with this local sewer company and are thankful we were able to help these residents quickly get back to their lives.