Recent Storm Damage Posts

Winter Weather

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Please take extra time to travel on snow covered roads!

As we approach the winter months, please be alert for the winter storms!

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.

How do winter storms form?

Just like any other storm at other times of the year, the right combination of ingredients is necessary for a winter storm to develop.

Three basic ingredients are necessary to make a winter storm:

  • Cold air. Below freezing temperatures in the clouds and near the ground are necessary to make snow and/or ice.
  • Lift. Something to raise the moist air to form the clouds and cause precipitation. An example of lift is warm air colliding with cold air and being forced to rise over the cold dome. The boundary between the warm and cold air masses is called a front. Another example of lift is air flowing up a mountainside.
  • Moisture. To form clouds and precipitation. Air blowing across a body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean, is an excellent source of moisture.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

Be Prepared! Spring Storm Safety Checklist

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Always be safe!

Spring is here, which means severe weather can arrive at a moment’s notice, no matter where you live. Wind, rain, hail, tornadoes, and other elements can cause extensive damage to your home and property, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for what Mother Nature throws your way. Below is a spring storm checklist to proactively protect your home and property from damaging spring storms.

Spring Storm Home Safety Checklist

  1. Assess. Take a walk around your property often to see if there is any damage—whether by Old Man Winter or from summer mayhem—and make necessary repairs. Small damage to roofs and chimneys that occurred during winter can turn into big headaches after any severe storm. Make sure gutters are clear and draining properly. Consider investing in a chimney cap—they’re great at keeping out moisture from heavy rains, which can damage stainless steel liners, or cause mold.
  2. Trim and prune trees. Remove dead branches that could end up being dangerous projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage not covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Are any hovering near the power source to your home? Most arborists recommend that trees and limbs be at least 10 feet away from your home. Hire one to come out and identify any problem areas. Or enlist a knowledgeable friend.
  3. Ensure sump pumps are working. Spring runoff and torrential rainstorms can all result in flooded basements. Make sure your pumps are running smoothly so they can do their job when you need them.
  4. Secure backyard items. Your backyard oasis can turn into a danger zone in a severe storm. High winds can turn unsecured items into missiles. If you’ve received a warning that a severe storm is approaching, move these items—patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, and grills, flags and poles, bird feeders, and potted or hanging plants—inside your home, shed, or garage if possible. If you can’t bring furniture or heavy items in, try using a rope or garden hose to tie them down securely.
  5. And don’t forget this important step!

    Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage. Every homeowner should know exactly what their policy covers, or doesn’t cover, so there are no surprises in the event of storm damage. Damage to your swimming pool, for example, may not be covered.

   Be ready for power outages:
  • Think ahead. Make ice, lots of it. Fill up empty soda bottles with water and freeze them and leave them in your freezer. These will come in handy in both a cooler or the refrigerator, like an old-time icebox.
  • Stay informed. Know your electrical company’s phone number to report outages and listen for updates. If you don’t have a battery-operated radio, get one!
  • Use a cooler for essential foods. This way you can keep the refrigerator closed and keep the foods that you absolutely need to access cool and safe.
  • Disconnect. If you have an electric garage door opener, be sure to disconnect it before your stuck in the dark, without a vehicle.
  • Batteries. It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries, some drinking water, and a good first-aid kit on hand.
  • Think camping. Either get a camp stove (always use it outside) or use the grill to cook if you’ve lost power. If you have a lot in the freezer and it’s going to be a long time without power, you may just want to invite the neighbors over and grill up as much as possible before it goes bad.
  • Keep your cell phone charged before the power goes out!
  

Flash Flood Tips

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Please use caution during flash floods!

Flash Flood Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Flood Watch

  • A flood watch means the conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
  • Update your phone number and e-mail address with your electric company so you can be served faster in the event of an outage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your natural gas and electricity at the main switch or valve, but only if you are able to do so safely and without standing in water.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports and emergency instructions on the radio, television, and Internet.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.

Flood Warning

  • During a flood warning, a flood is either happening or will happen shortly.
  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

After A Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid standing water, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Never go into a basement with standing water in it unless you are sure the electricity is off.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570-759-0966

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
    Flash Flood Warnings are changing to an Impact-Based format to improve public response. Read the factsheet.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

 https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-watch-warning

How do winter storms form?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Just like any other storm at other times of the year, the right combination of ingredients is necessary for a winter storm to develop.

Three basic ingredients are necessary to make a winter storm:

  • Cold air. Below freezing temperatures in the clouds and near the ground are necessary to make snow and/or ice.
  • Lift. Something to raise the moist air to form the clouds and cause precipitation. An example of lift is warm air colliding with cold air and being forced to rise over the cold dome. The boundary between the warm and cold air masses is called a front. Another example of lift is air flowing up a mountainside.
  • Moisture. To form clouds and precipitation. Air blowing across a body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean, is an excellent source of moisture.

https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

This Columbia County home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains. 

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Columbia County basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today:  570-759-0966

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 570-759-0966

Summer Storms

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Summer storms

With the summer months upon us, comes the unpredictable weather! SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is prepared to handle all your storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its original pre-storm condition. 

When storms hit, we have the resources to handle a large storm, hurricane or flooding disaster. We can access resources equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Call Us Today 570-759-0966! 

Will you be ready?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Will you be ready?

Floods

Floods are the most common type of natural disaster in the United States and the leading cause of weather-related deaths. Floods can be caused by many different natural or manmade phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis or sustained heavy rains.

Unlike other types of disasters that tend to be more regional or seasonal in nature, flooding can happen at any time and in every part of the country. Just because an area has never had flooding doesn’t mean that it will never experience one. And, areas that have flooded previously may experience another flood in the future.

Floods vary in nature. Flash floods develop quickly, sometimes within minutes of a rain event. Other floods develop over a period of days, or they may accompany another disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane. Flooding can also occur if a dam or levee breaks.

Flood Terms you should know

100-Year Flood: A statistical estimate that models stream flow peaks over a period of time to determine if a watershed has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year, or a chance of flooding once every 100 years.

Flash Flood Statement: A statement issued to inform the public about current flash flood conditions.

Flash Flood Warning: A life and property threatening flash flood is occurring or will occur within the next six hours. Anyone in a flood prone area should move to higher ground.

Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. This is issued when flooding is expected within 6 hours after a heavy rain has ended. Be prepared to move to higher ground.

Flash Flood: A flood in hilly or mountainous areas that occurs after a heavy rain.

Flood Advisory: Announcements issued to advise the public of a minor flood event.

Flood Stage: The point at which a body of water overflows banks onto dry land.

Flood Warning: An 80% chance of moderate or major flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Prepare to evacuate. Evacuate if advised to do so.

Flood Watch: There is a 50% chance of flooding.

Flood: Partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or of two or more properties by tidal waters, runoff of surface waters, mudflow or collapse of land surrounding a lake or other body of water.

Floodplain: Any land area that is susceptible to flooding from any source.

Major Flooding: Flooding with extensive damage to structures and/or roads.

Minor Flooding: Flooding with minimal or no property damage.

Moderate Flooding: Flooding that impacts some buildings and roads near a stream or other body of water.

Now that you know more about the major storms that you could experience, use this checklist to make sure your facility is prepared to handle these weather events. We also included specific steps to take before, during and after each major storm.

SERVPRO will be standing by to help as needed

Localized Storm

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Localized storm occurrences can overwhelm any local franchise company. If the local company is unable to handle increased workload by bringing in temporary labor, the next step would be for the franchise to call in reinforcements from neighboring franchises. In the event they are also maxed out, then a storm team activation may be needed. These are groups of franchises, sometimes from out of state, that have agreed beforehand to mobilize as needed to work storm jobs for up to several weeks at a time.

 Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24 hours/7 days a week to storm or flood damage in Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.

For all your water emergencies, contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966

Doing What It Takes

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co performed quite a number of flood cleanups following the many flash floods in Columbia, Sullivan and Bradford Counties from July thru September 2018. Our most notable cleanup wasn’t the house itself, which sustained approximately 12” of flood water from a nearby creek. It was the access to the property that caused some consternation among the crew. The cabin among others, is isolated across a creek that was, until the July flooding, was accessible by driving across a ford area. The flooding dredged the ford to a lower point making the drive impossible. The only access is to cross a 180’ suspension bridge, installed after the 2011 flooding destroyed an earlier foot bridge. This suspension bridge, while being safe to cross, tends to bounce and sway when crossing it. Especially when taking equipment such as airmovers and dehumidifiers across, also when carrying cleaning supplies. Just goes to show that SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

Its That Time of Year, Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cold Weather

Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather 

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
  • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
  • Set ice maker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
  • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
  • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
  • Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
  • Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
  • After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

  • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers. 
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
  • Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
  • Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains
  • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
  • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
  • Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
  • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.

Snow Storms & Extreme Cold

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Are You Ready?

During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.so, which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.

  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Winter Weather Watches and Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme winter weather alerts:
  • Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

  • Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

  • Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml.

  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.

  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.

  • Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.

  • Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

  • Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.

School Flooding

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded classroom was caused by recent flash flooding.

August 13 was a day of devastation for many in Columbia County as well as other counties. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan County was performing water and flood damage cleanup for residences even before the Monday storm. On Tuesday morning, the Benton School District contacted Tom Hess and indicated help was needed at the L. Ray Appleman Elementary school: several class rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and large numbers of contents were damaged by flooding.

SERVPRO personnel Tom Hess, Jennifer West, part time personnel Mason Hill and Destinee Good arrived after 12:00 PM and met with the staff to decide how best to tackle the cleanup. School is scheduled to open on Wednesday, August 22. The school staff: Jim Hartkorn, John Hook, Mark Force, Jeff Kelsey, Steve Diltz, Zanna Kinney, Melissa Hudack, James Mathews and Jim Matthews were all very hard working individuals and made the SERVPRO personnel feel welcome and part of the crew.

The school staff took care of moving contents (desks, chairs, cabinets, misc items) out of the rooms. They then removed the heavy amounts of mud. SERVPRO personnel did the detail cleaning of the floors, walls, contents. SERVPRO moved many of the contents back into the classrooms.

From Tuesday afternoon to Friday at 2:00 PM, the SERVPRO crew, aided by Adam Prukala and Makayla Hill, and the excellent staff at the Benton Elementary school worked diligently and cooperatively to complete the interior cleaning and prepare for the teachers to set up their classrooms for the coming year.

Professional Solutions For Your Flooded Home

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

When rain damages your home, the SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to remediate the damage

When several inches of rain fall over a couple of days, the ground around your home becomes supersaturated. Water caught inches or even feet below the surface must find release, often into your lower levels, slab foundation, or crawl spaces beneath your home. A professional response to the water flooding into your home is essential. 

The quantity of rainwater falling during recent storms 

Drywall in this home was removed up to the water lever after flood damage.

When rain damages your home, the SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to remediate the damage

When several inches of rain fall over a couple of days, the ground around your Little Rock home becomes supersaturated. Water caught inches or even feet below the surface must find release, often into your lower levels, slab foundation, or crawl spaces beneath your home. A professional response to the water flooding into your home is essential. 

The quantity of rainwater falling during recent storms, caused flood damage, overwhelming the ability of homeowners to remediate. During the flooding event, your home’s structural components and stored personal possessions are at risk for irreversible damage. Our water loss crews assess the scenario swiftly and put their IICRC training and experience on the line to remove the flood water and dry out both building materials and your home’s contents. 

Our SERVPRO vehicles arrive with high-efficiency pumps and water extractors as well as the highly qualified technicians to operate them on board. If your home’s electricity is unavailable temporarily in the aftermath of the storm, our equipment uses truck-mounted power generators to remove the water. Any delay in response to the flooding poses a range of threats to your home and belongings, including microbial growth and progressive deterioration of building materials and the ruin of documents, pictures, books, household goods, furnishings, carpeting, clothing, and more. 

Practical and best restoration industry practices often recommend the pack out of items at risk of further harm from the flooding. We train our SERVPRO employees to inventory, stow, and transport your precious possessions with care and respect. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will complete the flood water removal by matching equipment and techniques to achieve applied structural drying. Our crews strike a balance among the elements of air movement, heat, and dehumidification. We work to release water from structural components into a vapor that we then condense, collect, and evacuate. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the skilled crews and state of the art equipment to turn around your flood damage problems efficiently. Give us a call at (570)759-0966 as soon as possible after the flood waters invade. We stand ready 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Storm and Flood Damage Restoration Professionals

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570-759-0966
SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its original pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost and time required to restore your property.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm, hurricane or flooding disaster. We can access resources equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Flash Floods

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

What Causes Flash Floods?

Not all floods are the same. Some develop over time, however flash floods happen quickly, and amazingly can occur without visible signs of rain. Causes of flash floods include:

  • Excessive rain – within minutes of precipitation or up to 6 hours after.
  • Slow-moving rain of a long duration, such as occurs with thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
  • A dam/levee failure.
  • A sudden release of water held by an ice jam.
  • Rainfalls or snowmelts that exceed the capacity of underground drainage pipes and sewage systems.
  • Floods after wildfires which reduce the capacity of the ground to absorb water.
  • Urbanization, such as paving, which reduces rainfall absorption and increases runoff.

What areas are at risk of flood damage?

  • Low-lying areas.
  • Areas near water.
  • Areas behind a levee or downstream from a dam.
  • Areas near canyons.
  • Even dry stream beds, culverts, gullies, creeks, small streams, and low-lying grounds that appear harmless in dry weather can be at risk of floods.

Watch or warning – what’s the big difference?

  • Watch
    Think of a watch as someone yelling at you – “watch out!” Conditions are ripe for a flood, but one hasn’t been spotted… yet.
  • Warning
    All hands on deck! A flood warning from your local weather source means a flood is occurring or is imminent within 30 minutes to an hour.

If a Flood is Likely in Your Area…

All joking aside, a flash flood is serious business. Flash floods are typically accompanied by a dangerous wall of roaring water, which often carries rocks, mud and other debris. If you find yourself facing a flash flood…

  • Evacuate.
    Evacuate immediately to higher ground. Save yourself, not your belongings. You may have very little time to respond.
  • Secure your home.
    If you have time, turn off utilities at main switches/valves and disconnect appliances. Do not touch electrical lines or equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. Move essential items to an upper floor and bringing in outdoor furniture to prevent flood damage.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
    Only six inches can make you fall. If walking through non-moving water, use a stick to gauge depth/firmness before each step.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. 
    Two feet of water can carry away most vehicles. If swept away in your vehicle, remain inside. If water rises inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Choose campsites and parking wisely.
    Avoid areas along creeks, streams, or rivers, particularly during threatening conditions.

Flood Damaged?? Contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966.

Will You Be Ready

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

The Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average this year, Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predicted Thursday. The researchers cited a "relatively low likelihood of significant El Niño" conditions as a main factor.

In total, the team believes there will be 14 named storms. Hurricane researchers predict seven of the storms will become hurricanes and three will reach "major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater."

They explained why El Niño patterns are likely to make a difference.

"El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form," the researchers said.

CSU hurricane researchers believe this season's activity will be about 135 percent of the average season. For reference, last year's hurricane activity -- which included one major storm after another -- was nearly two and a half times greater than average.

The team forms their forecasts by using 60 years of data, referencing sea surface temperatures, vertical wind shear levels, sea level pressures, El Niño conditions and other factors. They plan to provide updates on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 2.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

While the CSU team said their predictions provide "a best estimate" of what to expect, they're not foolproof, and coastal residents should be sure and take precautions to protect themselves.

"It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season," said Michael Bell, an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, who worked on the report.

2018 Atlantic tropical storm names

Starting in 1953, the National Hurricane Center originally named all tropical storms. While you can still find a list storm names on their website, the names are now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.

Each list of names is used in a six-year rotation. That means this year's list will be used again in 2024. However, if a storm is considered too deadly or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer be used for reasons of sensitivity. In those cases, a name is replaced during an annual World Meteorological Organization meeting.

Here are all the names selected for Atlantic tropical storms for 2018:

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Florence
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Michael
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

Prepare for Spring Weather

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Are you prepared?

Spring weather can be unpredictable. When severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases, so planning ahead makes sense. Prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions.

Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets (81 mg each)
    • first aid instruction booklet
      (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • An emergency kit[1.08 MB] in your car

Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelteras soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.

Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you’ll be ready for them.

Spring is Here! Are You Ready?

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

The most severe of storms Spring can bring are thunderstorms. When warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can bring lightning, tornadoes and flooding, and if not properly prepared, this can cause extensive damage to your home or business.

Below are 5 ways to prepare your home for storm damage that can cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, if not kept on mind:

  1. Clean your gutters. Clear any debris from your gutters to make sure all the rain water can easily flow off your roof away from your home. When water can't get through your gutters, it pools on your roof and around your house. 
  2. Trim your trees. Some of the worst storm damage is caused by falling trees. A healthy, sturdy tree is unlikely to topple in high winds, but one with dead limbs, or disproportionate growth might. Spring is the perfect time to contact an arborist to evaluate your trees, and if you’ve got large trees on your property, you should have them evaluated yearly. Maintaining them will help you protect both your property and the tree itself.
  3. Back up your sump pump. When heavy rains come, sump pumps can get overloaded. A flooded basement can cause all sorts of damage to your contents, and when water covers wiring or electric appliances, things get dangerous. Make sure your sump pump has a battery backup just in case the electricity goes out. You might also consider installing a second, battery operated pump that will come on if the main one fails.
  4. Gather emergency supplies. American Red Cross recommends keeping a three-day supply of food and water for your family, and a seven-day supply of any medications. You might also add a battery operated radio, and a car adapter for your cell phone.
  5. Grade your yard. If water pools around your home, your foundation is in jeopardy. Ensuring that your yard slopes away from your home will keep rain water from sitting by your foundation and causing damage. Click here for a YouTube tutorial, provided by "This Old House," on how to grade your home. Most lawn companies, however, offer this service.

As we get closer to the rainy season, consider these five steps to keep your home and family safe.

Do you have water problems ? Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for help- 570-759-0966

Winter Storm Events

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

Localized Storm

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Near the end of July, Columbia and Montour counties suffered a local storm event whereby large amounts of rain fell in only a few hours. Runoff was severe with small streams quickly overflowing their banks, parking lots became ponds in minutes, and many below grade and even walk in basements had water damage. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour and Sullivan Co responded to 25 losses in just a few days. At times, simply pumping standing water was required. Many basements were finished, requiring carpet and pad or laminate flooring to be removed, drywall and/or paneling to be cut out above the water line. In some other more hilly areas, several homes were affected in a direct line downhill and SERVPRO was
able to service multiple customers in a small geographical area.

When Hurricanes hit Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in hurricane damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-hurricane condition.

September 2017 Was the Most Active Month on Record for Atlantic Hurricanes

As measured by the ACE index, September 2017 has become the most active month on record for Atlantic hurricanes.

More than one-quarter of an average Atlantic hurricane season is left.

September 2017, with Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria and Category 4 Hurricane Jose, has been the most active month of any Atlantic hurricane season on record.

Though not necessarily indicative of impact, a good way to rank the most extreme months of a hurricane season is using a parameter called the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) index, calculated by adding each tropical storm or hurricane's wind speed through its life cycle.

Have Hurricane Damage?  Call Us Today 570.256.4405

When Storms or Floods hit Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams [[Click to your disaster recovery page]] that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570.256.4485