|07-10-03: Residents facing huge cleanup task
|By TIMOTHY COX
The Daily Standard
The flood cleanup work already underway has led to empty shelves at
local hardware stores, as residents are hauling home new sump pumps, electric generators
and other plumbing supplies.
Several other businesses are either closed or threatened by rising
Craig Boes, manager of Tractor Supply Co., 4581 U.S. 127, said the
store has seen its entire stock of sump pumps, plus an emergency order, snapped up by
flood victims. Only one pump remained on the shelf Tuesday, but Boes had placed another
emergency order for 50 more pumps.
People also are buying up electric generators to ensure their existing
basement pumps keep working even through a power failure, Boes said.
The story is much the same at St. Henry True Value Hardware, 702 N.
Eastern Ave., owner Larry Balster said. All sump pumps were off the shelves Tuesday
morning with more on order, Balster said. The store also is moving a lot of vacuums and
other water-extracting equipment. The store's rental business is seeing lots of people
wanting to lease generators and pumps, he said.
Ace Hardware, 902 N. Main St., Celina, had an emergency shipment of 50
sump pumps arrive Monday afternoon, but only a handful remained on the shelves Tuesday,
employee Donna Gardner said. Shop-vacs are another big seller, and a new shipment recently
was placed on the shelves, she said.
Area carpet cleaners are doing more carpet removal than cleaning.
Basement carpet that has been submerged - especially if it has padding underneath it - is
virtually impossible to clean, they said.
A spokeswoman from Stanley Steemer, 109 Portland St., Celina, said the
company has visited 42 homes since the rains came on Independence Day. Crews are working
extra-long days to keep up with the demand for services, she said. In most cases, crews
are pulling up soaked carpet, cutting it into manageable pieces and then discarding it.
The floor underneath is then scrubbed and disinfected.
Chris Kreischer, owner of All-Star Carpet Cleaning in Willshire, said
he and his crew nearly became stranded in Willshire while working Monday.
"The hardest part is getting around to the places we need to
be," Kreischer said. "Sometimes you can't drive more than a quarter-mile without
running into standing water."
The St. Marys River is still rising quickly near Willshire, he said,
and his crew had to rush to finish a job so they could safely move outside the village.
Kreischer agreed that soaked basement carpet should be thrown away.
The city of Celina will provide trash bins at three locations for city
residents to dispose of flood-damaged items. The bins will be in place beginning today and
will be available for about a week. They will be placed at the Chief supermarket and both
Celina Big Bear locations. No paint or other chemicals will be accepted.
A few area businesses also faced water damage.
Breakaway Rec Plex, for example, reportedly had several feet of
standing water on its lower level and has closed the fitness facility.
"As many of you have driven by and seen, the outside area flooded
due to the spillway and Beaver (Creek) backing up, the inside of our facility is also
flooded," Breakaway management said in a news release. "At this point, we have
no idea the amount of time the facility will be closed, or the extent of the damages. We
currently have no power or phones available. We cannot get inside the facility to assess
the damages until the water has cleared."
Members of the facility will not be charged for the month of July, the
Across the street, at Community Medical Center, water surrounded most
of the facility and Mercer County Community Hospital officials were touring the site to
review the damage.
Hospital CEO Jim Isaacs said that water has not entered the building,
but the facility will remain closed as long as the parking lot remains under water. Water
would have to rise another 9 to 12 inches before it would threaten the building, he said.
"We'll have to keep monitoring the situation," Isaacs said.
"If it gets worse, we'll have to do some sand-bagging or something to protect the
At nearby WCSM Radio on Schunk Road, employees have had to wade through
water to get to work.
"We have sandbagged and tried to pump water out continuously, but
with the rain continuing, it is getting more difficult to get to the station,"
General Manager John Coe told the Associated Press on Tuesday night.
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