Monthly Archives: April 2013

Major Basement Floods In The Chicago Land Area

Hоmеѕ аnd роѕѕеѕѕіоnѕ оf mаnу hоmеоwnеrѕ іn Chicago аnd іtѕ ѕuburbѕ wеrе dаmаgеd іn thе rесоrd-brеаkіng wееkеnd ѕtоrmѕ. Rеѕіdеntѕ аrе mаkіng еvеrу еffоrt tо сlеаn uр thеіr hоmеѕ аnd ѕаlvаgе thеіr bеlоngіngѕ. Sеvеrаl hоmеѕ wеrе flооdеd wіth ѕеvеrаl fееt оf wаtеr, аnd rеѕіdеntѕ wеrе ѕееn rеmоvіng wаtеrlоggеd саrреtіng аnd flооrѕ. Thеіr vаluаblе роѕѕеѕѕіоnѕ ѕuсh аѕ рhоtоgrарhѕ, bооkѕ, furnіturе аnd аррlіаnсеѕ wеrе аlѕо ѕоаkеd, аnd thеу wеrе trуіng tо ѕаvе whаtеvеr thеу саn.

Rеѕіdеntѕ wеrе uѕіng ѕhор vасuum tо рumр оut thе wаtеr frоm thеіr bаѕеmеntѕ. Sеvеrаl basements wеrе flооdеd, mаіnlу іn Dеѕ Plаіnеѕ, bесаuѕе оf thе ѕеwеr bасk uр. Aссоrdіng tо Mаrtіn Mоуlаn, mауоr оf Dеѕ Plаіnеѕ, thе оvеrwhеlmеd ѕуѕtеm саuѕеd flooding, whісh tооk ѕоmе tіmе tо соре wіth thе dеlugе. Thіѕ flooding саuѕеd ѕеrіоuѕ dаmаgе tо thе basements. Rеѕіdеntѕ аrе аlѕо wоrrіеd аbоut а dаngеrоuѕ роѕt-flооd рrоblеm – thе grоwth оf mоld. In ѕоmе basements, wаtеr lіnе оf uр tо оnе fооt саn bе оbѕеrvеd аlоng thе bаѕеmеnt’ѕ drуwаll. Thеу аrе рlаnnіng tо tаkе оut wеt drуwаll аѕ ѕооn аѕ роѕѕіblе. Pеорlе аrе uѕіng іnfrаrеd саmеrаѕ tо lооk fоr thе mоіѕturе thаt саn саuѕе mоld grоwth іn јuѕt twо оr thrее dауѕ.

Exреrtѕ ѕау thаt іf оnе саn’t ѕее оr ѕmеll thе рrеѕеnсе оf mоld, іt dоеѕn’t mеаn іt’ѕ nоt thеrе аnd grоwіng. Mоld іѕ mіnuѕсulе, flоаtѕ іn thе аіr аnd саn gеt іntо уоur rеѕріrаtоrу ѕуѕtеm саuѕіng ѕеrіоuѕ hеаlth рrоblеmѕ. Aссоrdіng tо thеm, соntаіnіng mоld іn thе іnіtіаl ѕtаgеѕ іѕ thе kеу. It саn bе асhіеvеd bу сlоѕіng оff thе bаѕеmеnt соmрlеtеlу. Uѕе 6-mm рlаѕtіс ѕhееtѕ аnd tаре tо ѕеаl thе vеntѕ оf уоur bаѕеmеnt.

Dеhumіdіfіеr ѕhоuld bе uѕеd іn оrdеr blоw оut thе аіr thrоugh thе wіndоw оf уоur bаѕеmеnt whіlе kееріng thе wіndоwѕ аnd dооrѕ uрѕtаіrѕ ореn. іѕ аdvіѕеd thаt hоmеоwnеrѕ ѕhоuld trу tо сlеаn uр thе wаtеr, аѕ ѕооn аѕ thеу саn іn оrdеr tо kеер thе dаmаgеѕ tо уоur bаѕеmеnt аnd rіѕk tо уоur hеаlth аt thе mіnіmаl. Bу dоіng ѕо, уоu wіll nоt оnlу ѕаvе thе mоnеу, but wіll аlѕо rеduсе thе сhаnсеѕ оf dеvеlоріng ѕеrіоuѕ іllnеѕѕеѕ. Aѕ реr mаnу еxреrtѕ, сlеаnіng uр уоur flооdеd bаѕеmеnt bу uѕіng blеасh іѕ nоt ѕuffісіеnt tо сhесk thе mоld grоwth. In fасt, іt соuld саuѕе lаrgеr hеаlth іѕѕuеѕ lаtеr bесаuѕе оf thе hаrmful blеасh fumеѕ. Thе rоаdwау wаѕ 30 fееt bеlоw grоund lеvеl аnd rесіеvеd 21/2 іnсhеѕ оf rаіn іn 45 mіnutеѕ. Nо ѕеwеr саn tаkе thаt аmоunt оf vоlumе іn thаt tіmе, ѕо thе wаtеr gоеѕ tо thе lоwеѕt роіnt.” Chicago 911 dіѕраtсhеrѕ rесеіvеd а саll frоm а раnісkеd mоtоrіѕt whоѕе vеhісlе hаd ѕtаllеd іn а flооdеd vіаduсt аt Pеtеrѕоn Avеnuе аnd Pulаѕkі Rоаd.

From Plains To Midwest Weather Continues To Be Stormy And Cold

People in the Midwest are beginning to wonder if winter will ever be over. It’s hard to tell that it’s actually April by looking out the window as snow was falling across the Midwest over the weekend. Flooding caused by melting snow and heavy rains has sent some mid-Michigan rivers over their banks and has closed roadways in several parts of lower Michigan. North of Bay City, Michigan, the Rifle River was 1.5 feet above flood stage and the Tibbabawassee River was 1.3 feet over flood stage. Heavy rains have been overwhelming sewage plants leading to water discharge in several Michigan communities.

The severe weather has kept our cleanup crews working overtime in Michigan, Ohio and Iowa and the predictions for more bad weather this week will only make the challenge of keeping basements dry. The cold weather fronts meeting low pressure systems filled with moisture from the gulf are creating most of the severe weather.

Portions of the Northern Plains will be digging out from deep snow early this week as a storm system is moving across that part of the country. The snowfall will be heaviest in North Dakota where up to 12 inches may fall by Monday evening. The snow is expected to change over to sleet or freezing rain in northeastern South Dakota Sunday while a mix of snow and rain and possibly ice will fall in the Twin Cities of Minnesota before daybreak Sunday.

The Plains and Midwest saw some pretty extreme April weather last week as there were hundreds of reports of snow and over a dozen tornadoes that killed three people. The weather that is being forecast for early this week is very similar with more unwanted snow and the threat of severe thunderstorm activity. The new storm that’s pushing across the Rockies will make its way into the central portion of the country Sunday to result in the threat of heavy snow for the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

Severe weather is also going to develop in southern Mississippi due to a warm front that’s moving through the area. As a low pressure system and warm front move across the Mississippi Valley, it will serve as a trigger to produce storms that could bring damaging winds and the ability to spawn a few tornadoes. People living in southern Mississippi are being warned to prepare for possible severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, hail, lightening and heavy rains.

Hundreds of people living in Alma, Michigan were told to evacuate their homes Saturday due to flooding concerns. The Gratiot county community lies on the Pine River which by early Friday was well above flood stage. As water in Alma continued to rise during the weekend’s heavy rains, police and fire officials were going door to door to tell people to get out. They also left notices for those who didn’t answer. There were flood concerns elsewhere in the Great Lakes State as well. In the western portion of that state, back to back storms dropped 4 inches of rain since last Monday, leading to numerous flood advisories and warnings.

The Grand River in Ionia, MI overflowed its banks late Saturday. The county’s fairgrounds are completely covered in water as the river reached 21.7 feet which is seven inches over flood stage. The Grand River is expected to begin dropping on Sunday so that it’s below flood stage by early Monday. That is, if that part of Michigan can avoid being rained on more. The forecast for the new week is for scattered showers and thunderstorms across western and mid-lower Michigan with some areas possibly seeing 2 inches of new rain.

Wild Spring Weather Moving Across Country

A huge storm system moving across the US Wednesday night is going to dump snow from South Dakota into the Midwest. Four to eight inches of white stuff may fall Wednesday night in the Sioux Falls area and up to fourteen inches could fall in portions of Southwestern Minnesota including the Twin Cities area. The cold spring storm is moving east after heavy snowfall and freezing rain caused hundreds of flights to be canceled while knocking out power to many in numerous western states.

Heavy downpours of rain Wednesday that’s expected to continue until at least Thursday in mid-Michigan has caused rivers there to rise rapidly. It’s also caused localized flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas in several counties in mid and southeastern Michigan. Several rounds of heavy rainfall will add 2 to 4 inches of water to the already soaked ground in the Great Lake State which is sure to cause even more troubles and possible serious flooding. The National Weather Service has a flood watch in effect through Friday for 17 Michigan counties. Residents are being told to be ready for possible flood warnings and especially those who live in areas prone to flooding as the heavy rain is posing a real threat.

Outside of St. Louis, MO in Hazeltown, dozens of rescue workers arrived late Wednesday after a severe storm brought trees and power lines down onto homes and vehicles and left many streets blocked by debris. Some homes there had their roofs cave in while several businesses had windows blown out, spreading glass on parking lots and sidewalks. While it has not yet been determined if the damage was caused by a tornado, officials think that it was indeed a twister.

As the wintry storm system lumbers eastward, it is expected to churn up severe thunderstorms later in the day on Wednesday and overnight in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It’s been warmer than usual for this time of the year in the East. The warmer temperatures are making this weather system more dangerous as it will pick up the warm air as it moves eastward, possibly spawning some very severe weather including heavy rains, lightening, hail and possible tornadoes. There is more than enough fuel in this system for terrible weather to develop so people from the Midwest to the East are being told to prepare for weather warnings.

East Coast Racing for Hit from Sandy

Hurricane Sandy left a wake of destruction in its path as the hurricane was responsible for claiming 43 lives in the Caribbean. He massive storm is now making a slow march toward the East Coast of the United States and is threatening to be one of the worst storms in decades.

The big storm is being called “Frankenstorm” by some weather forecasters because it is combining elements of a tropical cyclone and a winter storm. Some forecasters believe that it has what it takes to become a very dangerous and powerful “super storm”. Many states along the East Coasts have already declared states of emergency ahead of Sandy and are urging people to head out to the stores to stock up on essentials like drinking water, canned foods and batteries.

Sandy is now a Category 1 hurricane. The system is slow moving as it’s chugging away from the Caribbean on a northward path. If the storm stays on its current path, it could make landfall late Monday or Tuesday on the East Coast somewhere between North Carolina and southern New England. Sandy could cause widespread, serious flooding along the coast and may even cause snowstorms further inland. As of Saturday morning, Sandy was about 365 miles southeast of Charleston, SC with winds at about 75 miles per hour.

The National Weather Services said Friday night that Sandy will probably weaken to a tropical storm before gaining strength again over open water, returning it to a Cat 1 hurricane by Sunday. Officials in New York City are talking about closing down the subway system ahead of Sandy as they fear the storm may cause dangerous flooding that would affect subway lines. Some forecasters think that Sandy is going to be worse than Hurricane Irene that struck the Northeast last year, causing billions of dollars worth of damage.

On Friday, a veteran forecaster said that he was “at a loss for words” over what Sandy may do if the storm hooks to the west and makes landfall. There have been many dire predictions made about the hurricane well ahead of it even reaching the US. There is sure to be widespread flooding, downed trees and power lines as well as power outages affecting millions of people that could last for many days or even weeks if the storm reorganizes and zeroes in on the East.

Dangerous Flooding Reported in Louisiana

Flash flooding was reported in Louisiana early Wednesday as a result of the very heavy rainfall the state is receiving. Between six and fifteen inches of rain has been reported across the state, prompting flash flood warnings to be put into effect for portions of northwest Louisiana.

With several inches of rain already in some parts of the state and more torrential downpours in the forecast today, the flooding situation is sure to become much more serious and potentially very dangerous. The same powerful storm system which brought severe weather to the Plains earlier this week has moved into the Mississippi Valley. Very heavy rainfall has been soaking portions of Louisiana and Arkansas since late Tuesday night and will continue to do so today.

Polk, Louisiana has received 8.5 inches of rain as of Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service is warning that the heavy rains are threatening to overflow large creeks and small rivers in many parts of Louisiana which don’t ordinarily flood. In addition to the down pouring of rain, residents of Louisiana are being told that damaging winds could occur today as could an isolated tornado in this type of severe weather system which is sitting over their state.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans put out a severe thunderstorm warning for East Baton Rouge parish Wednesday morning. The storm could pack winds of over 60 miles per hour and could also cause flash flooding. The service also has a flash flood watch in effect for the Baton Rouge and surrounding area through Thursday morning.

State of emergencies were declared for four southern parishes Tuesday after heavy downpours of rain soaked the region causing flash floods. Those parishes are: Acadia, St. Landry, St. Martin and Lafayette. Dozens of residents had to be rescued from high flood water in Carencro, a town in Lafayette parish where numerous evacuations were also ordered. That area of the state got over fifteen inches of rain in just six hours starting Monday according to the National Weather Service. The water levels in the large bayous are rising there and are close to cresting which could spell disaster for hundreds and even thousands of home and business owners.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Tuesday for some areas of his state after hundreds of families across the state have already been forced to leave their homes. This declaration will allow state agencies to respond to requests for help from local governments and also allows for federal agencies to be deployed to the state.

Stormy Weather Moves Over the Central US

As per National Weather Service, an active storm system is bringing severe weather conditions over the central U.S. The system is causing blizzard and winter storm conditions in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, severe weather over the central Plains as well as Ohio Valley and powerful winds in the southern Plains.

The Upper Midwest is expected to receive nearly a foot of snow on late night and overnight. Tornadoes can be whipped up by the storm in the central Plains.

Duluth, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota the two Midwest cities that could expect the most snow.

Blizzard conditions are likely in certain areas of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The conditions could affect Interstates 94, 90, 39, 35 and 29, reported.

The system is expected to bring snow to some areas of New England, upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

The likelihood of another system on Thursday could bring more snow to the region.

As per CNN report, storm lashed on to the small Kansas town of Harveyville during early hours on Wednesday. As per state officials, at least nine people got injured. One person got seriously injured and was taken to the hospital in Topeka about 20 miles of Harveyville.

A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Sam Brownback for the tiny community of 236 residents that was struck by an obvious tornado on Tuesday night.

As per Kansas Adjutant General’s Department, storm damaged a church and some homes, downed power lines and trees across the area.

A shelter has been set up at a local high school by the officials, and the American Red Cross is there to help the affected.

Thunderstorms can be quite hazardous to people as well as to property. Strong winds, tornadoes, flash flooding, hail and lightening produced by thunderstorms can cause widespread damage.

Heavy rainfall from thunderstorms can trigger flash flooding that can wash away boulders, structures and flood homes in just minutes. Lightning is accountable for starting numerous fires all across the world and causing deaths when it strikes people. Softball-size hail can damage cars and windows. Powerful straight-line winds (up to over 120 mph) can bring down trees and power lines. Tornadoes with strong winds of up to 300 mph can kill people and cause significant damage to property.

In case your home or business gets damaged by a storm, it is advisable that you hire a professional property restoration company, such as Jarvis Property Restoration to secure your property for any additional damages and get it restored to pre-loss condition immediately.

Lee Drenching Northeast as 100,000 Told to Evacuate

The long-living tropical storm Lee has been pouring rain on top of an already soaked Northeast, forcing the closure of scores of roadways and forcing residents out of their homes. So far, 100,000 people have been told to head for dry land as the Susquehanna River is poised to break it’s 40 year flood record.

The Susquehanna River snakes its way through 400 miles of land from upstate New York to Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The river is threatening to overflow its banks in many areas which is forcing weather-weary people to pack up their homes and to move in with family, friends or to stay in temporary shelters. In Binghamton, New York, over 19,000 residents were told to evacuate as all roads to the city have been shut down as the big river rose eleven feet above flood level there, sending water rushing over retainer walls and into the downtown district. Binghamton is situated between the Susquehanna and Chenago rivers, leaving it particularly vulnerable. Just a bit south of Binghamton the river is expected to crest at more than eighteen feet above flood stage in the Wilkes-Barre area, forcing tens of thousands of residents there to leave their homes. Businesses in Wilkes-Barre closed at noon Thursday, leaving the city looking like a ghost town. Flood cleanup efforts could last months in Allentown and Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

Rivers and creeks neared or surpassed flood stage yesterday from Maryland to Massachusetts and weather experts are warning that more flooding is on its way. Tropical storm Lee has been compounding the misery for many people who are still trying to recover from the damages done by Hurricane Irene. At least eleven people in the Northeast have lost their lives because of Lee which has resulted in officials in many states reminding people not to venture out into the flood waters. It is unusual to have such high numbers of people being ordered to leave their homes in the US due to flooding although hurricanes like Irene can force millions to seek dry land.

President Obama has declared states of emergencies in both Pennsylvania and New York. These two states have been hit the hardest by the torrential rainfall and flooding caused by Lee. Officials in both states are scrambling to put emergency measures into place as they are expecting the worst to happen. Both states are stockpiling food, water supplies and generators.

Vermont Experiences Worst Flooding in over Eight Decades

Hurricane Irene dumped fifteen inches of rain on the state of Vermont over the weekend
, drowning the state in mud and debris. Three people lost their lives as a result of the storm and one person remains listed as missing. Over 200 roads in the state washed away and three historic covered bridges were destroyed. Nearly 10% of the population lost power and many affected may not have power again for several weeks, so says Central Vermont Public Service.

Nearly every major river in the state crested Monday. The waters are starting to recede however the devastation was already very widespread. The last time Vermont saw flooding on this scale was back in the fall of 1927 which also was the result of a tropical storm that moved into the state. This time around the rainfall fell on already-saturated grounds from heavy springtime rains. Vermont’s mountainous geography played a part in the flooding as torrents of water rushed down mountain streams.

Although the damage occurred statewide, it was mainly concentrated in the southern portion of Vermont. There are dozens of small towns and villages that rescue teams simply cannot get to because of washed out roads and downed trees and power poles. Very few people in Vermont purchase flood insurance, and that is a huge concern now as a countless number of homes and businesses throughout the state have flooded basements. FEMA has authorized funds for the state of Vermont but thus far those affected do not know how to apply for help.

Vermont’s governor Peter Shumlin toured the affected areas of his state by helicopter Monday and called the devastation “heartbreaking”. The chopper landed in Bennington as the town was particularly hard-hit. Shumlin stated that federal help is on the way as he has been in direct contact with President Obama who pledged that Washington will do what is needed to assist. Many areas of the state remained under flood watches and warnings early Tuesday with the National Weather Service saying that record flooding was still occurring in some areas of the state. Vermont did not order or even suggest evacuations mainly due to the fact that many of the communities are located in low-lying areas. There are very few large areas of dry land, making large-scale evacuations impractical.

Overall, about 5 ½ million homes and business were still without power from North Carolina all the way up to Maine. THe devastation in New Jersey, has caused substantial basement flooding issues throughout Newark as flood waters continue to rise. Hurricane Irene is thought to have caused significant property losses, although exact figures are not know due to uncertainty about wind damages. The expensive cleanup in Vermont and other affected states on the East Coast will further strain budgets of both local and state governments where the economies have not yet fully recovered for the recession.

Hurricane Irene Remains A Threat To The Carolinas

Hurricane Irene, potentially the most powerful and damaging storm to hit the U.S. in several years, strengthened to a category three storm Tuesday night into Wednesday. The daylight hours of Wednesday saw the storm pounding the Caribbean, relentlessly moving from the Dominican Republic towards the Bahamas. All across the Caribbean tourists were being evacuated from hotels and especially vulnerable islands ahead of a storm with winds packing speeds of 115 mph.

Back in the States hurricane warnings have gone up across the eastern seaboard. If the storm does make landfall it’s expected to hit the Carolinas the hardest. In North Carolina evacuations have already begun for some of the states outlying islands. On the barrier island of Ocracoke for example, both tourists and the island’s approximately 800 residents have already been told to leave. Ferries to the mainland have already started leaving Ocracoke.

Throughout the Carolina’s outlying islands businesses and homeowners have begun boarding up in an attempt to protect their property and belongings. Those gutsy enough to defy evacuation orders and attempt to ride out the storm are stocking up with the essentials including food, clean water, gasoline, and batteries.

At the very least Irene is expected to knock out power and cause damage to trees and fragile structures. At worst it could match previous hurricanes that caused significant property damage, coastal flooding and erosion, and a host of other issues. And with a 7′ storm surge and winds stretching 400 miles, Irene doesn’t even need to make landfall to cause problems.

Further up the coast preparations are being made as far north as New England. States like Maine and Massachusetts are especially vulnerable to excessive rainfall due to soil already saturated from heavy spring and summer rains. Any significant rain coming from Irene could potentially cause significant flooding in coastal cities.

Experts are predicting landfall sometime between Saturday and Sunday, although there’s no guarantee. As these storms change so frequently and rapidly, there is no sure way to tell who will be impacted, and when. Nonetheless, residents living anywhere along the eastern coast of the United States should begin to make preparations now while they have time. Homeowners should at the very least board up their windows and bring all unsecured items indoors. That includes gas grills, lawn furniture, children’s toys, etc.

In areas where evacuations are not mandatory residents might still consider heading for higher ground after they have secured their homes. Those who decide to stay should designate a safe area in their homes, or search for a local shelter at a school, fire hall, or other suitable building. Residents should also make provision for elderly or disabled family members and neighbors. If evacuation orders are issued by local governments residents should by all means obey them.

Historic Flooding in Minot, North Dakota Sends Residents Fleeing

Thousands of residents of Minot, North Dakota are scrambling for drier ground due to an expected and possibly history-making flood. Officials are planning to build ‘people camps’ for many of the affected people who work on nearby oil rigs. Those workers who will most likely be housed in the camps typically live in and around Minot for several months at a time and drive over 100 miles to get to the rigs they work on.

A full one-forth of the city’s 41,000 residents were forced to evacuate as the Souris River broke through levees in some places. Warning sirens were sounded to alert the affected residents to leave their homes immediately. Unfortunately, over the next few days the flooding is expected to become worse than the historic flood that hit the are back in 1969. The Souris reached a record level of 475 meters in 1881 and it is expected to surpass that mark by the coming weekend.

So far two shelters have been set up in Minot – one at Minot State University and the other at the city’s auditorium. However, with a combined capacity of just 1,000 people, more shelters will most likely be set up elsewhere. Red Cross volunteers from many states are arriving in Minot to help with the crisis and the North Dakota National Guard is also in the city to help keep order and to check homes to be sure that people who were told to leave actually did so.

On another negative note, FEMA rejected North Dakota’s application for assistance for private homeowners and businesses. State officials are very displeased with this decision and are appealing that FEMA reconsiders. FEMA will however, assist with flooding costs which are directly related to public infrastructures. North Dakota’s three members of Congress have been on the Senate and House floors giving speeches to press the feds for more financial aid.

The Souris River flows directly through the center of Minot and there are numerous houses and businesses situated on its banks. Local levees have been built because officials do not believe the main levees will be able to hold back the flooding. One makeshift levee is being constructed around a local school while a second is being built around the city’s Broadway St. Bridge. The National Guard has reported that affected residents of Minot are heeding the warnings to leave their homes which is positive as rapidly rising flood waters can prove deadly as we learned very well from the Katrina disaster in New Orleans.