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Thursday, June 30, 2011

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.

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