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Servpro owner warns of dangers of cleaning up flood mess without professional help

Servpro owner warns of dangers of cleaning up flood mess without professional help (KTUL)

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (KTUL) – Days after massive flooding, homeowners are still cleaning up.

Sherrie Lewis has lived in her house for 30 years and has never experienced flooding this bad until now.

“It’s come up in our backyard but never in the house,” she said.

Lewis said the water came up several feet.

“I looked back out in the creek, and it was just at the top, then when I came back out and looked, it was in my car,” she said.

Lewis said that is the least of her concerns at the moment.

“I didn’t have any flood insurance, so we’ll have to figure it out,” said Lewis.

Until then, Brad Peixotto, owner of Servpro of Rogers County, is helping her out.

“We come in and remove non-salvageable materials, and we dry the structure to a point where you can have your contractor rebuild it,” said Peixotto.

He is also helping other homeowners on Lewis’ street with even worse damage.

“We removed the kitchen cabinets so we can get to the walls back behind them,” he said. “There’s a really good line of moisture, and if you don’t open up those wall cavities and create moisture flow and de-humidification, that’s a really good place for secondary damage.”

It’s also dangerous if it isn’t fixed.

“The water will pick up significant contaminants from the ground, and there’s no telling what it picks up,” said Peixotto. “It’s classified as grossly contaminated in the same classification as raw sewage. If you don’t have these things properly cleaned up, people can get sick and actually die from them.”

Right now, Lewis is working to air out her car, but she said she is thankful it wasn’t worse.

“You just have to back off and turn it over to God,” said Lewis. “That’s all you can do.”

Servpro of Rogers County will continue to stay out here to help those affected in areas that have flooded.

There are no current reports of flooding in the area.

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