8:00 AM PDT, September 4, 2021
Before the storm, there was a run on generators and bottled water. Now the push is on to find wet vacs and cleaning supplies.
For thousands of people whose homes were flooded, the massive cleanup is on. And time is of the essence before mold starts to grow.
Elza Malikyan’s home in Queens was inundated with three feet of water as Hurricane Ida battered the Northeast with the historic rainfall.
“These are all my Christmas [decorations] — 38 years collection, also my beautiful books that I’ve been collecting for 38 years, and just a lot of memories that are gone. All the pictures, all my shoes. It’s just very sad and very emotional,” Malikyan told Inside Edition.
Inside, the cleanup has begun, but more ruined furniture will have to go.
Inside Edition producer Chris Dukas and his family are also cleaning up their flooded basement.
“It’s utter disaster,” Dukas said.
So how do you go about fixing a mess like this?
First you need the right tools: masks, a shop vac, fans and dehumidifiers.
Phil Caraciolo of the cleanup company Servo is working on a flooded basement in Brooklyn. He shared some of his know-how with Inside Edition, which includes throwing out wet cardboard, paper and carpets.
“Flood water is dirty water. You have different toxins, pathogens that come in with it. You want to throw out anything that it touched — furniture, clothing, fabric items, paperwork, anything that got in contact with it,” Caraciolo said.
He also says to dry out rooms with fans and humidifiers and replace the drywall two feet above the flood line.
“The big danger of water damage or flood in your home is mold. Getting all the water out and removing the wet material, that’s going to help prevent anything like that,” Caraciolo said.
It’s estimated the total damage and economic loss from Hurricane Ida could reach $80 billion.