Families try to save personal belongings from flood damage inside homes

Residents urged to be cautious of mold growing from flood damage

Families try to save whatever they can from flood damage inside homes
Families try to save whatever they can from flood damage inside homes

DETROIT – If your basement floods like it or not you are in a race against time.

According to FEMA, mold is going to develop within 24 to 48 hours after something is exposed to water.

Now four days after the heavy rainfall, Metro Detroit residents are still trying to clear out wet basements as quickly as possible.

In Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood where hundreds of basements are flooded a lot of these residents need help and it’s not easy to find.

The clean up process is still going on for a lot of people hit hard by the flood waters from this past weekend’s rainfall.

Many people are tackling what they can to clean any mold in their basements themselves with these cleaning supplies.

Not because they want to, but they really have no choice

“We’re trying to clean out what we can,” said Detroit resident, Marsha Stewart.

It’s been a real struggle for Stewart who is still cleaning out the basement of her home four days after major flooding took the entire region by storm.

She says the hardest part of clean up could be the potential mold now forming an extremely hazardous problem to deal with.

“It’s black. It’s sludge. Thick in the basement,” said Stewart.

Megan Steiger is in the same boat.

“I’ve got a hose down there. My goal is to just hose everything down, then hose it down with the antibacterial bleach and then hose it down again,” said Steiger whose house is flooded.

The two have been been trying to get in contact with a restoration company, the only problem is no one is answering their phones.

As a result, private contractors like Erik Hardaway have been doing what they can to help.

“I’ve been snaking basements since the rain. Maybe about five to six basements a day. I’m cleaning out basements,” said Hardaway.

Since then he’s come across a lot of damage, most of it irreplaceable.

“They’ve had a lot of this stuff that’s pretty valuable, some of the stuff being sentimental and I just feel bad for them,” said Hardaway.

He’s warning everyone who fell victim to mother nature’s wrath to keep an eye out for any mold that might be forming, as it can cause a whole lot of problems.

“It gets into your lungs and it messes up your breathing. If you have any black mold in your house, you know, take care of it as soon as possible,” said Hardaway.

Mixing baking soda and water is another solution that can be used to fight mold. Still, nothing is as good as contacting a professional. That is as soon as they might become available.

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Restoration crews in short supply as families work to clean flooded basements
Restoration crews in short supply as families work to clean flooded basements

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.