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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homes Have Sewage Backup Issues

It`s a smelly situation for many homeowners in the Minot area. One homeowner by Longfellow School had their drains back up and cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Sewage backup is becoming a common problem in Minot.

"Definitely. Actually the homeowner was saying that it`s happening pretty much one house per block is having a sewer back up," said Technician Clean tech Spencer Lindahl.

But this problem never used to be so common.

Lindahl said: "I never had something like this. I mean, you hear of it like hurricane Katrina was definitely a big issue like this, with the water table being so high, but nothing in the north like here."

Lindahl says it`s not the flood waters that caused the sewage back up, it`s the high water table.

The homeowner went on vacation and did not plug their drains. When they came home, they found a mess. Lindahl says homeowners should be plugging their drains. It`s not worth the risk.

"No I don`t. Because you could be running into thousands of dollars of damage if you don`t take the precautions," said Lindahl.

River water or sewage backup all falls under a Category 3. This means any of this water could be carrying bacteria or born pathogens. If this water touches drywall or insulation, it needs to go.

"Even if you maybe clean the surface, especially dry wall, and paneling, if you clean the surface, you have no idea what could be inside," said Lindahl.

With the record flooding in the area, crews say they`ll be working at this for many weeks, even months.

Lindahl said: "Once the evacuation zones get cleared or things like that, we`ll start working more and more. Right now, we are still working a lot, but we`re definitely seeing that we are going to have a huge increase,"

Lindahl says it could be weeks before homeowners see how much damage is has been done to their homes. Some may be salvageable, and some may not.

"Say this is what`s going to happen, give them a dollar amount, and the insurance says not worth it, and the homeowner says, not worth it, then it is," he said. "But if the homeowner says it`s worth it, and insurance says it`s worth it, then we`ll go to work.

Things that can be saved are items that are porcelain or ceramic, such as toilets and tubs.

Mold Forming Months After Flood

SARANAC LAKE - Two months after the flood, some businesses are still dealing with lingering damage, much of it having to do with mold.

Brothers Mike and Gar Munn's shop, Munn's Office Equipment, has its share of mold.

"The mold makes it a health risk to be in here," Gar said. He said landlord Bill Rich is planning to raise the floor about a foot to put stone and a heater underneath it late this summer. If that happens, Gar said they would work out of a storage bin, his truck and his home.

"We had five pumps, pumping out the water," Gar said. But they kept working, repairing business machines.

Gar said about 15 copy machines had water damage.

"I figured it costs between $300 and $400 per machine," Gar said. "Multiply that by 15 and that's how much we lost." He said the moisture from the water was so bad that even machines that didn't get hit had water in them.

But flooding is nothing new to the Munns.

"We've experienced flooding in here before, but it was only a few inches in '92, '93 and '95," Mike said.

Judi Latt, from Judi's Computer Support, said her business is relocating as an indirect result of the flood.

"Personally, the business did not sustain damage from the water, but my main thing was the cleanup after, or lack thereof," Latt said.

According to Latt, water finally ran out of the basement on May 10, and at that point landlord Ken Weissberg, who lives in France, knew about the flood, which began April 27.

"They didn't seize the moment to try to clean it up right away. My husband and I got sick from working in here as the mold was building up," she said.

Latt's business also lacked power for a week so water and sewage could be pumped from the basement. If nothing else, a computer service shop needs electricity.

"Trying to keep the business up from our home was excruciating," Latt said.

Roger Steinbrueck of Scott's Florist said he's going to have to hire a contractor to replace some of the drywall in the business, which was inundated with water from the adjacent Saranac River during the flooding.

"It's mold from the bottom up about 2 feet," he said. "We're going to have to gut it."

Steinbrueck said he'd be grateful if there was disaster aid available to help pay for the work, but he's not holding his breath.

"I don't have time to think about it or dwell on it, I've just got to deal with my business as it is now," he said.

John Coltrane's Home In Desperate Need of Mold Remediation

The Long Island home where John Coltrane penned his iconic “A Love Supreme” is one of America’s most endangered historic sites, according to the annual list released by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Wednesday.

Jazz great Coltrane purchased the modest 1950s Dix Hills ranch home in 1964 and lived there until he died in 1967. He transformed the basement into a recording and rehearsal studio and converted a guest room into a composition space. His wife Alice Coltrane lived in the home until 1973.

Though the space is more artistically than architecturally significant, a local organization that owns the vacant home aims to restore it as an education center. However, the home has fallen into disrepair and it needs mold remediation, repairs and conservation.

For 24 years, the National Trust, a non-profit organization that advocates for preservation of historic sites, has selected one-of-a-kind landmarks that it feels are worth saving. Of the 233 sites selected, only a handful have been lost, officials say.

Fire Causes $150,000 In Damage

Investigators think some oily sawdust that spontaneously combusted was the cause of a two-alarm fire Thursday morning at a Saskatoon Co-op Home Centre in the city's north end.

Fire crews were called to the centre on Avenue C North at 4:42 a.m. CST after someone saw flames and smoke pouring from the building.

The fire was most intense in the back portion of the building, and apparently started at the lower part of an outside wall.

Flames spread up the wall and into the attic area.

Crews broke through a door, removed some metal cladding and went inside to fight the fire.

The blaze was under control in about an hour.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Dan Paulsen, officials have a pretty good idea what caused the fire. Some time ago, a linseed oil-based deck preservative had been accidentally spilled and then cleaned up using sawdust.

The sweepings were placed in a plastic garbage pail near the south west wall.

Over time, linseed oil can spontaneously ignite if allowed to be in contact with organic material in a closed space, the fire department said.

It's estimated the fire caused about $150,000 in damage.

Faulty Pipes Issues For Homeowners

A family rocked by a $13,000 plumbing bill is warning people to beware of potentially faulty plumbing lurking behind the walls of homes built or renovated in the last two decades.

Frank and Annette Cappellino built their dream home in LaSalle, near Windsor, Ont., about 10 years ago. Last fall, the Cappellinos came home to a flood in their basement.

"Water was just spewing out like a waterfall," said Frank Cappellino. "A pipe had totally burst."

Cappellino said after a home inspection by a plumbing distributor and a representative of the Canadian manufacturer IPEX, the rep told him the cause of the leak was defective pipes branded under the name Kitec — pipes that were running throughout the house.

"He said he had to take a part of it back to his company to get it tested but indicated that if it was his pipe, basically he would have it replaced," Cappellino said.

The Cappellinos contacted the company to find out the testing results, but said they were told they couldn't have a copy of the report because a class action lawsuit was underway. IPEX provided the Cappellinos with the name of the Windsor law firm leading the suit. Cappellino said they joined the legal fight shortly thereafter.

6/30/11 Lindenhurst Weather Forecast

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 61. Northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.

Friday: Isolated thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Northwest wind between 6 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 65. Northwest wind between 3 and 7 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 80. North wind 5 to 7 mph becoming south.

Saturday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Independence Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 68.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Garage Fire Causes Extensive Damage

A fire that started in a Newcastle garage Sunday night led to the destruction of two cars and spread to a neighboring home.

Just after 10 p.m. Sunday night, two residents of the home on the 11400 block of Southeast 88th Street in Newcastle attempted to call 911 to report a fire in their attached garage. The home phone failed to work, the residents said. But they were able to call authorities before exiting the home safely. No one was injured in the blaze.

Crews from three nearby departments converged on the home and doused the fire, but not before it caused significant damage. Two cars in the garage were destroyed, and the fire spread into the home. It also caused damage to another nearby residence. According to the Bellevue Fire Department, damage caused by the fire is expected to exceed $250,000. Crews are continuing to search for a cause of the fire.

City Will Not Pay for City Backups

While levees draw public attention, another flood threat spreads unnoticed beneath St. Joseph.

With Missouri River levels above 24 feet, all of the city’s combined sewer overflow gates are submerged, unable to release stormwater and sewage into the river. Until the river falls below 24 feet, even a small rain shower could cause basement drains and curb inlets to back up and flood homes or streets.

The City Council passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday to exempt it from reimbursing property owners for damage caused by surface flooding or by sewer backups that occur while river levels exceed 24 feet.

“We’re just acknowledging that the city has no control over Mother Nature,” Public Works Director Bruce Woody said.

Under normal circumstances, the city reimburses property owners up to $10,000 for damage related to sewer backups.

When the river rises past 24 feet, the city reasons that the damage comes not from a shortcoming of its sewer system, but from the river, which the city cannot control.

River-related sewer backups would first occur in areas near the river. Heavy storms could lead to flooded streets, as stormwater cannot flow to the river.

Starting Thursday, the city will offer a free sand and sandbag program to help residents protect property from stormwater that could backup from streams that have nowhere to go. The program will last four to five days, or until the city runs out of sand.

The city will distribute 1,000 tons of sand from its location at Sixth and Atchison streets. Residential owners may receive 1,000 pounds of sand and 50 sandbags per visit with a maximum of three trips.

Commercial and industrial owners will receive the same amount of sand, but no sandbags, as the city has a limited supply.

“We still won’t have enough sandbags, but it will make a dent,” Communications Manager Mary Robertson said.

City officials stressed that the sandbags are not designed to protect individual residences from a levee breach. Instead, the 150 sandbags a person could get from their three trips could protect a low-sitting garage door from water from a nearby stream, or basement windows from stormwater.

The city is not allowed to distribute its stockpile of filled sandbags it received from the federal government. All federal sandbags must be kept in reserve to protect against levee breaches, sand boils, or other emergencies, according to Mr. Woody.

Storms Damage Homes in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS • Thunderstorms that moved through the St. Louis region late Saturday and early Sunday knocked out electrical power to thousands, flooded roads and interstates and damaged homes and businesses.

The storm dumped nearly 4½ inches of rain at Lambert-St. Louis International airport between 4:45 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.

At one point, 27,000 Missouri Ameren customers were without power.

The hardest-hit areas were Berkeley and St. Charles, said Ameren spokeswoman Rita Holmes-Bobo. Most of the outages were caused by lightning strikes on transformers and substations, she said.

Crews worked to repair the damage, and all power was expected to be restored by late Sunday.

In Illinois, nearly 17,000 Ameren customers were without power about 2:30 a.m., mostly due to high wind and lightning, spokesman Leigh Morris said.

"If it had been safe to sit outside, you could have read a newspaper. It was that bright," Morris said.

By noon Sunday, 2,600 customers remained without power, almost half of those in St. Clair and Madison counties. Power there was expected to be restored by the end of the day.

The heavy rain flooded many St. Louis streets.

About 3 a.m., flash flooding prompted all lanes to be closed on parts of Interstates 70 and 55 and Highway 40. Police reported cars stalling in high water on Highway 40 near Grand Boulevard. Flooding also closed I-55 at Loughborough Avenue. Highway 40 and Interstate 55 reopened within an hour, said Deanna Venker, MoDOT area engineer.

Two eastbound lanes of I-70 in north St. Louis remained closed Sunday night and likely would be closed Monday morning as well for repairs to crumbled pavement caused by a sewer line break and erosion, MoDOT officials said.

They cautioned motorists to use alternate routes to work Monday morning if possible.

Floodwater also filled lanes of Highway 141 under Interstate 44 in Valley Park.

In West County, several water main breaks forced temporary lane and street closures in Frontenac, Creve Coeur and Town and Country, according to a police dispatcher.

A Missouri American Water spokesman said she knew of three 8-inch water main breaks that left several dozen homes with reduced pressure but said it wasn't clear the breaks were weather-related.

Several north St. Louis homes were evacuated because of flooding, said Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District spokesman Lance LeComb. Most had standing water in their basements.

City and MSD officials ordered the evacuations this morning while inspecting the homes in the 4400 block of Dryden Avenue and Dryden Court. Utilities to the homes were shut off, and police patrolled the area.

Reports of flooding also came from businesses along Manchester Road in Brentwood, LeComb said.

Those who experienced water backups are asked to call MSD's 24-hour customer service line at 314-768-6260.

In Cahokia, several sewer backups were reported after the heavy rainfall, leaving 5 to 6 feet of water in some homes' basements in an area off Falling Springs Road. Several streets and yards in the same area remained flooded late Sunday because the sewers still were unable to handle all the water from flash flooding in Cahokia, officials said.

In St. Charles, police reported receiving several calls about flooding and downed trees and limbs, mostly north of Interstate 70. Residents of the 80-unit Creekside Apartments at 121 Cole Boulevard were evacuated after basement and ground-floor apartments flooded with more than 2 feet of water in some instances. It's uncertain when, or if, residents will be allowed back in.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, some lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 between Shreve Avenue and West Florissant Avenue remained closed due to buckled pavement from a sewer line collapse.

Late Sunday afternoon, heavy rain fell across southern Jefferson County and northern St. Francois County. Bonne Terre and De Soto were among the towns under a flash flood warning.

Today's high is expected to be in the low 90s with a 50 percent chance of storms.

6/27/11 Lindenhurst Weather Forecast

Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. South wind between 3 and 6 mph.

Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Southeast wind between 6 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. South wind between 6 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 81. Northwest wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64. Northwest wind between 6 and 8 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 80.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 81.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 84.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68.

Independence Day: Partly sunny, with a high near 83.

Friday, June 24, 2011

School Remains Open After Flood Reported

BEAVERCREEK — A broken pipe has caused a flood at Beavercreek High School, according to Mike Campbell, WHIO-TV reporter.

Beavercreek fire officials were called to the high school, 2660 Dayton Xenia Road, around 4 a.m. Wednesday after hearing a report of a pipe that burst in the school’s boiler room. The burst caused up to five feet of water to flow inside the school, Campbell said.

The water got high enough that is damaged some of the building’s systems, including electrical and water, according to Campbell. Those systems have been shut down.

A Beavercreek City Schools official was not immediately available for comment this morning.

The high school was open as of 8:30 a.m. today.

Semester exams are scheduled for today and the last day of school is Friday, according to the district’s web site.

Check back for updates.

School Remains Open After Flood Reported

Tonight: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 10pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 10pm and 5am. Areas of fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 65. Southeast wind at 7 mph becoming northeast. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 1pm and 4pm. Areas of fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 79. North wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64. West wind between 5 and 9 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. West wind around 9 mph.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 65. West wind between 6 and 8 mph.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 82.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 66.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 82.