Some homeowners are dealing with much more than flood water as cleanup begins after recent storms.
Water flooded the basement of Larry and Sandra Bopes’ home in Rock Island, Illinois, Monday night, June 30, 2014.
“It was just gushing out like a fire hydrant,” said Sandra.
Water was coming out of their toilet. It wasn’t ground water. It was sewage water.
“It was seven inches,” said Sandra.
The water destroyed their basement.
“You have to redo the drywall, the carpet. You know, we’ve lost furniture, family momentous, appliances,” said Sandra.
By Wednesday the water was gone, but you could see the damage, and you could still smell it.
“You don’t know what to do. You just have to watch it, you know, and how long it can keep running. It was probably 20 minutes, and you’re watching your stuff start floating away. You know, what can you do?” said Sandra.
Now, it’s cleanup time. However, when dealing with sewage and flood water, there comes caution.
“There are bacteria in sewer water. It’s difficult in a flood situation to tell whether its just ground water or it has incorporated sewage in it,” said Terri Davies, a environmental health sanitarian at the Rock Island County Health Department.
Davies says if you have to be in it, make sure you’re covered up by wearing boots and gloves. Also make sure to watch out for electrical wires.
“You also have to beware of electricity if you’ve got appliances that are live. Unplug those before you start walking around,” said Davies.
The quicker the cleanup, the better.
“You don’t want mold growing and things like that,” said Larry.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. Back in 2006 the Bopes’ asked the Rock Island City Council for help. After the latest incident, they say they’ll file a claim with the city hoping something can be done.