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Flood victims on Chicago's West Side finally getting help nearly a year later

Nearly a year after floods, some West Side Chicago homeowners see repairs
Nearly a year after floods, some West Side Chicago homeowners see repairs 02:26

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Almost a year ago—right before the 4th of July—a big storm with heavy downpours flooded homes and streets, with countless basements in the West Side's Austin and Lawndale communities hit particularly hard.

Many residents had several feet of water in their basements, and some were still waiting for help nearly a year later. Some contractors have also now stepped in to do the work for free.

"At first, I was so upset over the odor from that flood and how high it was," said Mary Crump.

Crump and her husband have called the Austin neighborhood home for 50 years—and had never experienced anything like what she went through last year.

"That's the first flood I ever had like that since I've been here," said Crump.

The sewer backup left behind mold and bigger problems in basements.

"It was not safe for me," Crump said, adding that she does not have the money and get everything fixed that needs to be.

So almost a year later, Mrs. Crump and hundreds of flood victims on the West Side have been waiting on some financial relief in federal assistance.

"These are people's lives we're talking about," said Ald. Emma Mitts (37th).

Mitts has been working hard to get help to those in her ward.

"Some of the people were only getting $300 from FEMA," she said. "Then you had to have contractors—and thank goodness for the contractors that have been able to help out."

Mark Jones with Provident Industries is one of those contractors, which are coming into many basements to make repairs for free.

"We operate in multiple states, right? So money isn't as important as somebody having a safe place to live; a healthy place to live," Jones said, "because the mold that's in these places are bad."

The help is coming from many—including a crew from Americorps, who came to Chicago to do the dirty job of digging out the mold.

"You have hesitation going into a place that has mold in it, but you got to think these people have lived in these homes for a year," said Ryan Mallory of Americorps.

Once the work is completed, the smiles and gratitude show on the faces of the homeowners.

"We actually got to speak to homeowners and take a picture with them," Mallory said.

But none are happier than those like Mrs. Crump and her husband—who can breathe easier.

"I just happy for that," Crump said.

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