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McLean County Residents Again Cleaning Up From Flooding

Flooded basement
Angie Thomas of Bloomington said she had 5 inches of water and sewage in her basement after Sunday's storms.

Some McLean County residents are cleaning out flooded basements again after another round of heavy rains on Sunday. For some McLean County residents, lightning can strike twice.

Angie Thomas lives in the Franklin Park neighborhood northeast of downtown Bloomington. Thomas said she and friends needed weeks to remove over 3 feet of water and sewage from her basement, following heavy rains in late June. Now, she has about 5 inches of water and sewage on her basement floor from Sunday's storms.

“It never got back to normal because now every time it seems to rain, I keep getting sewage backed up into my basement,” Thomas said. “(I’m) starting to feel a little defeated.”

Thomas said she had to replace two new furnaces and a water heater after the June storm, adding water restoration companies she called then told her she'd be on a waiting list until September.

Jake Tucker is president of Servpro in Bloomington and Pontiac. Tucker said Sunday's storms weren't nearly as bad as the ones that hit in late June. He said Serv Pro took about 1,000 service calls following those storms. He said the company brought in help from other regions and got about 400 jobs done.

Tucker said hiring a professional can better help you test for mold by detecting moisture in the walls and insulation, but he said he knows some flooded-out residents could not afford to wait.

“I also understand that when we get on these waiting lists and all of our competitors are on waiting lists, you can’t just sit there with your basement having water in it. You do have to take matters into your own hands," Tucker said.

Tucker said Servpro can get to emergency jobs by the end of the week. He said the company has had about 30 damage calls from Sunday's storms.

Danvers hit hardest

A bulk of the service calls have been in the Danvers area northwest of Bloomington-Normal.

Greg Cook is the director of business development and marketing for Paul Davis Restoration in Normal. Cook said this storm wasn't as bad because the flooding was more localized.

“This one was a short burst that came through for several hours. It was concentrated more in the Danvers area, so it’s a lot different than the last one,” said Cook, adding the two rounds of downpours have made for a difficult summer for many homeowners.

“How come we can’t just get a Sunday slow nice rain every once in a while?” Cook quipped.

The National Weather Service reports Danvers and Carlock got 5 inches of rain Sunday. Bloomington-Normal got about 3 inches.

Cook said Paul Davis Restoration took about 20 calls from Sunday evening to Monday morning. Most were sump pump failures. Some had water getting in through basement windows.

Angie Thomas said she's heard from the city's insurance company, PMA, about her flood damage. She said she doesn't know if she'll get any help to cover the costs to replace her appliances or pay for the cleanup.

Thomas owns a hair salon in Bloomington and has lived in her current home for eight months —it's flooded twice. She wonders if making drainage improvements are worth it.

“It’s not in the budget to spend $10,000 to have it professionally done at this point with being denied a claim and have my basement flood three weeks later,” Thomas said.

Baker said she moved into that East Chestnut Street home to save money. She said she's can't afford to move again.

Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason has said the city's insurer will likely deny most flood damage claims. He said the insurer considers the storms an Act of God.

The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest long-term loans to residents and business owners who experienced damages following the late June storms.

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