Recent Storm Damage and Flooding in the Midwest
After a winter of record snowfall, Minnesota, as well as the rest of the Midwest, experienced a spring season filled with flooding and storms that consisted of heavy rain, strong winds, tornadoes, and hail. In Minnesota alone, storms and flooding have caused $40 million in damage to the infrastructure, not to mention the damage caused to homes and commercial properties.
It seemed like the Midwest experienced the worst of every season this spring as tornadoes, heavy rain, flooding, and even snow and ice hit various areas of the region from Minnesota and North Dakota down to Kansas and Arkansas. The biggest problems have been caused by flooding and tornadoes. Several factors contributed to the extensive flooding including snowmelt and the heavy rain. Many of the lakes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes also experienced significant increases in water levels that contributed to the flooding. Rivers throughout the state have been rising as well.
Tornado season has been very active as hundreds of tornadoes touched ground throughout the Midwest this spring. More than 250 tornadoes were confirmed between May 16 and May 29 alone. With tornadoes comes devastating winds that can cause serious damage and hail that can make the damage worse. Every state in the Midwest region experienced tornadoes at some point this spring.
While the summer has finally arrived, there is no guarantee that the storms will calm down. Even if the storms do let up, the spring storms have left plenty of damage in their wake that still needs to be addressed. Earlier this month, President Trump approved a disaster declaration for Minnesota that will result in FEMA paying for 75 percent of eligible expenses in the recovery while Minnesota will cover the rest from the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account.
Protecting your home or property from impending storms can help reduce the damage, but you can’t guarantee total protection from the worst storms and flooding. If your home or business in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN area has been affected by flooding, our professionals at SVMPS can help restore your property with our water damage restoration services.
Flooding in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest and Great Plains reached historic levels this spring. The excessive rain, snowmelt, and rising levels of the lakes and rivers contributed to serious flooding in many parts of Minnesota. Flooding is dangerous not only because of the damage it causes, but also the danger it poses to your health as natural flood waters are often contaminated with sewage or other harmful materials.
In anticipation of rain or flooding, you should take the following steps to protect your home:
- Inspect your roof: The roof is your first line of defense against the weather including rain. Check for any damage to the roof and areas where leaks might occur and make sure these issues are resolved.
- Clean your gutters: Clogged gutters can cause the rainwater to overflow and run down the side of the home, resulting in water damage and water pooling at the foundation. Make sure your gutters are clear of debris and drain far enough away from the home to prevent pooling around the foundation.
- Check for cracks in the foundation: It is important to find and seal all foundation cracks to prevent water from seeping into your basement.
- Grade the lawn: Your lawn should slope away from the home to help prevent water from pooling near the foundation.
- Maintain your sump pump: The sump pump is an important piece of equipment for preventing home flooding. Make sure the sump pump is maintained and in working order and consider having a backup power source for it in case the power goes out during a storm.
This tornado season has been extremely active as hundreds of tornadoes have touched down in the Midwest and Great Plains. It is very important to be prepared for the possibility of a tornado to protect your property and yourself.
- Stay informed: Pay attention to the news and weather apps for updates in the conditions in your area.
- Know the warning system: Know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning and listen for the emergency sirens in your area.
- Know where to take shelter: Make sure you identify the best places in your home or building to take shelter from a tornado ahead of time.
- Maintain your landscape: Keeping trees trimmed can help limit the potential for property damage. You should also secure objects like lawn furniture or planters that can get blown around by a tornado.
- Taking shelter outside: If you are outside when a tornado hits, try to find an area below street level to take shelter, preferably under a sturdy structure.
Hailstorms are the third type of severe weather that has been ravaging the Midwest this spring. Hail typically is part of a severe thunderstorm or a precursor to an impending tornado. Still, hail can cause very serious damage, especially if the hail stones are large.
These tips will help protect your property from the hail:
- Maintain your roof: Your roof needs to be in good condition to withstand hail so make sure you repair any damage. Make sure to close your chimney if possible if hail is expected in your area.
- Trim trees and shrubs: Hail stones can break weak branches so make sure the trees and shrubs near your home or building are trimmed.
- Maintain outside area: Make sure you put decorative items, furniture, and other items that can be damaged inside. You should also consider replacing rock or gravel in your landscape with shredded bark.
- Clean gutters: Your gutters should be free of debris so that they drain properly during a storm.
- Close windows and doors: Make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly to keep out rain and hail. You should also draw curtains and close blinds so that if hail breaks the window, you will be protected from the broken glass.
- Put your car in the garage: Hail can cause significant damage to vehicles so put your car in the garage or somewhere with adequate coverage.
Contact SVMPS in the Aftermath of a Storm
Even though the spring is over, Minnesota may still experience severe weather throughout the season. It is best for homeowners and business owners to prepare their property the best they can to help prevent serious damage. If you do experience damage from a storm despite your best prevention efforts, you need to take action right away to limit the damage and get your property restored.
At SVMPS, we provide expert storm and water damage restoration services to help restore damage to homes and commercial buildings. Our technicians can deal with any level of flooding or water damage and remove the water with our advanced extraction equipment. We can also repair severe damage to homes and commercial buildings with our full-scale construction services.
The longer you wait to address property damage from a storm, the worse the damage will get, so make sure you contact SVMPS as quickly as possible.