Dealing with basement flooding and insurance

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Dealing with basement flooding and insurance

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MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) - Thousands of basements were affected by Monday's flooding and nearly as many residents have questions about their flood insurance.

Many Madison Heights residents told Fox 2's Erika Erickson that they either didn't know about their coverage or are on a wait list for information.

Either way many are thinking of the future because what they already had is lost.

"It's just devastating," said resident Diane Bernardi, who has lived on Cynthia Street for 42 years and has a lot of memories - most sitting on the curb covered in sewerage.

Like so many, flooding ruined family heirlooms, furniture and in some cases, entire basements.

Restoration expert Jack Williams said that the sludge many are finding in their basements is "black water" and you don't want to mess with it.

Williams says that cleaning should be left to the professionals because household items like bleach do not kill all the microbials.

Insurance agent Jason Verlinde walked through some of the basements in Madison Heights and surveyed the damage.

"Just the cleaning of it alone costs $5,000," he said.

Verlinde said that much of the basement water are not covered with most flood insurance.

"Surface water, it's a flood," he said. "If it enters from the ground up, it's a backup. Even if you have flood policy it would not have been covered."

The wait for insurance companies to respond will take days while the cleanup could be months.

Verlinde said that if your basement is flooded, everything should be documented that is being thrown away. This includes doing inventory and assessing value to contaminated items being thrown away.



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