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Flash Flood Warnings in Chicago – What You Need to Know

Published by 911 Restoration Chicago on May 28, 2014 in category: Current Event, Water Damage Restoration

Last week there was a flash flood warning in the Chicago area due to a severe thunderstorm. Surprisingly, during this flash flood warning and thunderstorm, the temperature at the airport was 80 degrees. This storm brought 70 mph winds, hail and the threat of lightning strikes. In addition to grounded airplanes, trains were also delayed.

What should you do when a flood warning is issued?

Floods can cause a great deal of damage to homes and businesses. It can ruin floors, break glass, soak furniture and ruin personal possessions. It is important that you keep up with the weather reports via television or radio when there is bad weather.

When a flood warning is issued, it is important that gas and electricity be turned off. A gas turn-off valve is located by the gas meter and electricity can be turned off at the main electric switch. Personal possessions should be placed in a high location in order to prevent damage.

How can you protect your home from a flood?

Floodwater just one inch deep can cause severe damage. If you live in an area where there is a flood plain or water nearby, there are a number of things that can be done to lessen the damage that a flood can cause. It should be noted that some of these suggestions would not help if a high rising flood should occur.

• Modify your hot water heater, air-conditioner and fuel tanks so they are above flood level.
• Place stove, refrigerator and other heavy items on concrete blocks.
• Apply water proof sealing materials to protect walls.
• Be sure gutters, downspouts and drains are clear.
• Be sure the ground surrounding your home slopes downward so water is drained away.
• Install gate valves to turn off possible sewage backup.
• Have water vents in your foundation to prevent floodwater from backing up and causing more damage.

When do you need professional help for flood cleanup?

When floodwater covers the floors in your home, you can be sure carpets, flooring, furniture and walls are going to be severely damaged. This is the time that professional help is required. Professionals have the experience and equipment to do water damage restoration and cleanup. They will do the following:

• Thoroughly extract water and excess moisture
• Use high-speed air circulators and heavy-duty dehumidifiers
• Use submersible pumps for extracting water in heavily flooded areas
• Sanitize the area to remove danger of mold or other contaminants
• Repair damaged walls

How can you prevent flooding?

Flooding is an act of nature and there is really not much you can do to prevent it if you live in a flood plain, near a river or other location that is prone to high water. Purchasing a property that is on high ground with a slope that allows water run-off is a good idea. Unfortunately, sometimes a buyer is not warned of a possible flooding situation. Flood maps can be obtained online from A FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) website that will tell you if you are in a flood zone.

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