Now that you’ve survived a storm, the water has receded and you’ve got your power back, what next? In all likelihood, you’re probably dealing with a wet rug or carpeting and dreading the idea of tearing it all up and throwing it away. But do you really need to do this? The answer is, “it depends.”
If your flood was caused by a stream or river, chances are you’ve got mounds of mud in your basement. While this silt may be great for growing crops, it’s really bad for carpets and the amount of money you’d have to spend cleaning up is probably greater than what it would cost to rip it out and buy it new after your basement has dried out. In addition, there’s a good chance that the water was polluted and maybe smelly, so you probably want to get it out of your home ASAP!
On the other hand, if the water was relatively clean, and your house doesn’t yet smell like a wet dog, you might be able to salvage the carpet. But it really depends upon the situation.
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Hurricane Irene - 8-27-2011
So you’re glued to the TV, watching as the “storm of the century” approaches. What to do?
I’m a big believer in knowledge and education but honestly, I try to tune out big media coverage of the storm. Why? Because they do everything they can to hype the storm. The bigger and scarier they make it seem, the more viewers they attract.
I’m going to take a little different approach than most of these lists. There are hundreds of “hurricane check lists” telling you to fill your bathtub with water and stock up on batteries and food. No, I’m going to give you the practical homeowner tips that nobody else tells you.
Tip #1: Monitor the pure satellite images
My favorite site for no-nonsense satellite images is Unisys weather. Yes, the old-time computer company has the basics. The most informative images are the standard IR (infrared) or the WV (water vapor) image. These images give a great overview of what’s happening on a large scale.
Tip #2: Keep an eye on rivers and streams
The National Weather Service has a great website that few people know about. It has detailed information about projected water levels based on gauges and computations. Here’s a link for the Delaware River gauges in my area. Here’s the national map so you can choose the information for your area.
River levels with projections after Hurricane Irene