Department manager recommends backup sump pump to avoid flooding during a power outage

FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (01/10/2020) - Crews will be ready for Saturday's winter storm, but that isn't easing all minds for the short term.

People around Mid-Michigan are making sure they're ready for the worst. Generators, salt and heat tape were flying off the shelves at places like Home Depot on Friday.

According to a department manager at Home Depot, one other item can save thousands of dollars.

Most primary sump pumps are electric, so losing power could cost thousands in water damage. Luckily, there are some options to keep that from becoming a reality.

"Most of the people that when their sump pumps go out, their basement is flooded. Now, they're into a situation where they actually have to have their basement drained. There might be damage to some of the areas of the basement plus the replacement of the sump pump," said Sean Cooney, the specialty assistant store manager at Home Depot in Flint Township.

That potential flood damage, including carpet and drywall, could be excessive and cost up to thousands of dollars.

Instead of fixing the problem after the fact, Cooney said this backup solution can save the day.

"This is the full 'Basement Watchdog' system, so this comes with the battery, the pumps, and everything that you need. It's $415, and it's just a reassurance that if you were to lose power or your sump pump was to fail, when the water rises above that, it actually initiates this, which it has a very similar to a marine battery in it," Cooney said.

A more expensive option would be purchasing a generator. Joe Cole, who lives in Vernon, purchased one from Home Depot for under $1,000, but he said he must have it.

"With all the rain we got coming in, I do get a lot of drainage into my sump pump. Then, it pumps out right into the city's sewer system, so that's going to be a big help," Cole said.

In addition to the sump pump, he says the refrigerator and TV are key reasons for the generator. He bought his house last year, and doesn't plan on taking any chances.

"I just replaced the hot water heater. I just replaced my well holding tank. I've done a lot of work in this house to get it livable. I don't need any more problems, so this is just peace of mind, period," Cole said.

Anyone looking for more information about how to protect their entire home if the power goes out should look for stories on

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