Grand River flooding clean-up begins
Updated: Monday, April 22 2013, 10:38 PM EDT
GRANDVILLE (Mich.) (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Now the big story in West Michigan, record flooding. The Grand River crested over the weekend in many West Michigan towns, hitting levels never seen before.
All that water had to go somewhere, flooding homes and businesses, and turning streets into rivers. Now, as floodwaters recede, home and business owners face the sometimes overwhelming task of cleaning up.
Thursday afternoon, Doug Gardner got a call from his daughter.
"We’ve got four feet of water in our basement," Gardner says.
Since then he's been working to dry it out.
"We were trying to rescue what we could down there."
But unfortunately, there wasn't much they could save — the washer, dryer and furnace — all ruined.
"Important documents down there in safes, and then we had a lot of personal items and furniture, you can see,” Gardner says. “Everything you see her was sitting down there."
All things companies like Servpro have been working overtime to save.
"We've been working around the clock. A lot of water extraction, remove carpet, remove pad and dry out some structure in the house and whatnot," a representative of Servpro says.
In fact, Servpro has been so overwhelmed, it ran out of equipment and staff to do the work and had to look outside of Michigan for help.
"We have probably close to 75, 85 crews doing work that we did call in from out of state. I have 400 air movers out and about 75 dehumidifiers out right now."
A job unlike any workers have ever seen here.
"I’ve been doing this 11 years now and this is the worst I’ve seen it."
But for homeowners like Gardner, the focus is now on putting things back together.
"It’s just a big clean-up and you just … take a deep breath and dive in," Gardner says.
The Grand River hit record levels in Grand Rapids, cresting Sunday night at nearly 22 feet — almost four feet above flood stage.