Metro-East News

‘No place to go’: Granite City man flees flood, faces uncertain future

Dean Melton and his dog, Sophia.
Dean Melton and his dog, Sophia.

Dean Melton didn’t want to leave behind his 6-year-old yellow Labrador retriever Sophia when officials came to his door and demanded he evacuate.

Melton, who lives in the Valley Green Trailer Park in Granite City, heard a knock on his door about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“They told me that they were shutting off the electricity and we needed to get out,” Melton said.

There was an emergency shelter for the residents, but they couldn’t bring their pets.

Melton tried to ride out the rising water, but he gave up around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. He loaded Sophia into his truck, but didn’t know where to go.

I just couldn’t believe that this was happening.

Dean Melton, who was forced to evacuate his Granite City mobile home

“We had no place to go with such short notice,” Melton said.

Driving away, he didn’t know what he would face when he returned. The rising flood was lapping at the corner of his trailer. All his possessions, save one change of clothes, were inside. He recently purchased new appliances, furniture and electronics when he moved into the trailer.

“I just couldn’t believe that this was happening,” he said.

Roads were closed. Melton’s relatives were across the county near Highland, dealing with rising water there, too.

Running low on cash, Melton, 47, and Sophia spent the night in the truck with the heater on.

In the morning, he got a welcome call.

“Thank God my friend gave me a place to stay until this blows over,” Melton said.

Melton spent the morning on his friend’s couch in Collinsville, making calls. He found out his insurance wouldn’t cover any of the damage.

“I didn’t have flood insurance. I didn’t know I needed it. I don’t live in a flood zone,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, he was looking at the sky, hoping for the rain to stop. He was waiting for a call that he could go home or his employer had secured a hotel room.

“I’m just hanging out, waiting for news,” Melton said. “I just hope I can get back. They said three or four days. I guess that depends on the weather.”

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer