Chicago-area storms leave many with flooded basements

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Monday's severe storms left many with flooded basements in buildings and homes. (WLS)

Monday's severe storms have phones are ringing off the hook for at least one company that services flooded basements.

ServiceMaster Restore, a restoration company, said 90 percent of the calls they've received have to do with water damage because of sump pump failure.

"We've seen loses this week from $2,000 to $50,000-$60,000," said Cal McCarty, a ServiceMaster restorer.

The torrential storms Monday caused a great deal of damage in more than 20 homes in the Hidden Lakes subdivision in Palos Heights.

"My son woke up, called me and said, 'Hey dad, I just got out of bed and I stepped in 6 inches of water,'" said Drew Wischhover, a Palos Heights resident.

ServiceMaster Restore said they have received over 400 calls from customers in the Chicagoland area, scheduling over 100 service calls due to flood damage.

"The power went out in the home, the sump pump had failed, and the water from the back yard and rains came up through the sump pump hole and flooded into their basement," McCarty said about the Wischhover home. "The loss that you're seeing today is approximately $10,000."

"We're hoping the association is going to cover a good part of that, but then it's going to fall upon my own individual insurance to deal with the contents," Wischhover said.

Workers test walls for moisture, tear up carpeting and baseboards, and punch holes in the drywall to find the most effective way to dry the area.

ServiceMaster restorers said mold can build up immediately within 12 hours, so taking care of damage immediately is important.

"Basically everything is wet about 24 inches off the ground, and what's going to have to happen is the drywall is going to have to be cut, removed and insulation removed behind it," said Lawrence Booth, a Servicemaster restorer, about the Wischhover home.

ServiceMaster said restoration can take anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks.
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