Families in the university town prepare to start school after the flood

Two weeks after the historic flash flood, many families are still displaced. U-City school district leaders are helping with transportation, food, and supplies.

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Valerie Fondren recaps how the past few weeks have gone since her home was flooded.

“It’s a nightmare,” Fondren said. “I looked out and saw the rain coming. I thought ‘Er, I don’t know.’ So I got up and looked down the stairs and what we had in the basement was floating towards the stairs.”

Their teenage son, Christian Tucker, has lost many clothes and shoes, and his first day of University City High School is less than two weeks away.

“The school came by and dropped off a backpack with a few items, but as far as clothes and other things go, I don’t get a chance to do all that,” Fondren said.

“School starts in a week. We have about eight days,” Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley said.

Bartley has been helping University City families since the morning of the flood.

“We helped physically transport her from the police station to Pershing Elementary School. We only brought groceries and basic hair needs so their immediate needs could be met,” Bartley said.

About 70 people found shelter at the school during the flood. Many of their families are still displaced.

“A lot of them don’t even know where they’re going to live when school starts, so we’re working with them to make sure we can get their kids to school,” Bartley said.

They collected and distributed donations; everything from groceries, clothes and shoes to toiletries and school supplies.

“If you are a family in college town, this is your home and we take care of our family. So please reach out to the district and we will do what we can to make sure your children are ready to go to school on August 22,” Bartley said.

University City principals accept monetary donations. If you would like to help the families, click here.


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