Basements take brunt of flood waters


BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – With more than three inches of rain that fell in the area over the last several days, basement flooding is becoming a serious problem.

Paula Shields lives on Rockdale Avenue in Boardman. She woke up Wednesday morning to find one foot of black water in her finished basement. She said this is the third time the sewers have backed up from all the extra water, but this time was the worst.

“I approached the first step going downstairs and all I saw was like one inch of black dirt,” said Shields.

Shields said everything in her basement got saturated, including appliances and furniture.

“The sweeper, I picked it up and water just poured from it. The washing machine is not working. The dehumidifier is not working,” she said.

WKBN First News cameras were there as crews began vacuuming the water and ripping out the floor covering and baseboard. The final cleanup will be much more extensive.

“We have to extract all the water. We have to sanitize. We have to spray an antimicrobial to prevent mold from forming,” said Katie Bacorn with ServPro of West Mahoning County.

Shields runs a small baking business out of the basement and isn’t sure how much of her insurance will cover the costly restoration.

“It doesn’t include any of my furniture down there. It includes maybe an appliance. I have two freezers that are filled with cookies and that is an issue as well,” said Shields.

Bacorn said the last couple days have been busy and they expect even more calls for service if the rains continue.

“We see sewage backups, sump pump failures or water coming in through people’s foundations if they have foundation problems,” said Bacorn.

Shields is trying to focus on getting repairs made and working to fill outstanding baking orders, but she worries this won’t be the last time she will have a water mess to clean up.

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