Flood watches issued, businesses prepare for possible problems

SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (10/23/17) - Parts of Mid-Michigan are under a flood watch as steady rain falls across the area.

As a result, some homeowners and businesses are trying to prepare, just in case.

"Getting that human some rest, getting that service technician some sleep, because we don't stop once we start," said Jason Klein, project manager for Wolgast Restoration in Thomas Township.

Wolgast Restoration workers are on call 24/7 to assist homeowners during disasters like flooding and fire.

When flooding is a concern, they spend a lot of time closely watching the forecast.

They use meteorological information and past experiences in neighborhoods, to determine how to best utilize their teams.

While the on-site restoration workers are resting, other employees are hard at work.

"Getting staff brought up to speed, the internal department of the office is looking at territories and getting a lot of the service vehicles ready and things of that nature. Inventorying the equipment, changing filters," Klein said.

If you do need the assistance of a restoration company, Klein said don't wait.

"Time is of the essence for what we call in the industry, preventing secondary damage. The longer water sits down there, the more contaminated things are going to become," Klein said.

He said waiting gives relative humidity a chance to cause more problems. "That high humidity can start traveling up into the finished portions of your home and start damaging hard wood floors and things of that nature."

It doesn't take a lot of rain outside to cause major damage inside.

"The lower lying areas are going to take on more and a couple inches will sometimes generate a foot to two feet of water inside a basement," Klein said.

But there are a few things you can do to try and prevent some damage.

Klein said take a good look at your sump pump. "People have lived in homes for 25 years and been through major, major storms, never had water so they never thought twice, they go downstairs basement's full of water. Come to find out the sump pump was fine, but the outline was full of roots," he said.

If you are able or have family or friends who can help, Klein said move stuff to higher ground.

"TV centers, furniture with wood pegs on the bottom of them, rugs, children's toys, things of that nature, get'em up and elevated," Klein said.

Even just elevating them a little bit could mean all the difference.

"Grab some two by fours, turn'em on edge so they're at least three-and-a-half inches off the ground, to try to preserve and save some of that stuff," Klein said.

In the rare chance that a major flood is predicted and there is time, Klein said homeowners could also opt to have a mechanical professional come in and remove appliances from basements.

Klein also said people need to check with their insurance carrier before a disaster hits as many people are not insured or underinsured when it comes to water damage.

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