Restorations underway after flooding several weeks ago

DONIPHAN, Neb. (KSNB) - Flooding may be over for the time being, but devastation still lingers as people in Doniphan begin to restore their homes.

David Archer, project manager with ServiceMaster, helps Ruth Batie, a resident of Amick Acres, go through her belongings after her basement flooded with ten inches of water several weeks ago. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

Nearly every home in the Amick Acres neighborhood was impacted by the heavy rains that swept the area last month. Many people couldn't pump out the water in their basements until late last week, because of the high ground water levels outside.

Restorations began at Ruth Batie's home a few days ago. She's lived in Amick Acres for more than 40 years. During the storm, her basement flooded three separate times, filling with ten inches of water.

"We've lost a lot of furniture from two bedrooms, a family room and office area," Batie said. "It's been overwhelming."

The ground water level was so high from the nearby lake, water and sewage kept seeping into the basement through the drains.

Batie said they were also hit by the wind storm just a few weeks before. A large tree fell onto their truck.

"It's just been one heck of a summer. It's just been one thing after another," Batie said.

ServiceMaster is in charge of restorations at Batie's house. Her property isn't the only one. Like many restoration companies throughout the state, they have a long list of jobs due to flooding across Nebraska.

"Ordinarily we want to get to a job right away. This one was sitting for a little while as there were so many jobs to do, and not enough people to do them," said David Archer, project manager for ServiceMaster of Sarpy county. "So it started to have some bacterial growth. That can happen within 72 hours of moisture entering the home."

Due to the mold and sewage in the basement, crews removed four feet of drywall and insulation.

Archer said they'll also have to sanitize everything in the basement, as well as spray for bacterial growth. They're using a power dryer to remove moisture.

But before crews start on that, they're removing all Batie's items from the basement, and salvaging as much as they can.

"It's her whole life down there and everything she's got for generations. So we've got to work with her on saving whatever we possibly can," Archer said.

He said once they get that done, restorations will take three days.

Batie said she hasn't gotten much help from her insurance. She said they're filing paperwork with FEMA to see about federal aid.

"Just continue on one day at a time. That's about all we can do," Batie said.