FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Many neighborhoods are still trying to dry out after Tropical Storm Eta. So what’s a homeowner to do if they are dealing with flooding?
“First thing, you should always call your insurance agent, get your most recent policy information and advise him what is going on and let him do the work for you,” said Mark Youngelson, an insurance agent.
Unfortunately, as Youngelson points out, homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding. Flood insurance is an add-on — and one he recommends even if you don’t live in a flood zone.
“United States is all in a flood zone. There’s high risk and there’s low risk,” he said. “I view flood insurance as a valuable coverage because the biggest investment I will make in my life is going to be the home that I buy.”
Without flood insurance, the repairs are likely to be costly.
Restoration companies have been hard at work since Eta left the area, extracting standing water out of homes.
“It’s a process of removing the impacted building material and drying the structure as well,” said Ty Pro from SERVPRO. “So we would place a combination of dehumidifiers and fans.”
Pro says it’s best to get a professional out to your property as soon as possible because all of that standing water is filled with bacteria that can pose a serious health issue.
“Typically it’s 48-72 hours where there’s a potential for mold to develop after a home or property has been impacted by water,” he said. “Even though the water may have receded, those organisms may still be present in the structure, which could lead to potential health issues.”
The Melrose Park community in west Fort Lauderdale was one of the hardest hit, with many people seeing floodwater gush into their homes.
“Florida room was flooded, laundry room flooded,” said resident Charles Smith. “I think I lost my La-Z-Boy chair and my computers.”