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How to protect your home from flooding rains

Steps you can take to avoid problems later
Posted at 9:23 AM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 09:58:19-05

Portions of this report were originally published in 2018.

Once again, the Tri-State is bracing for rising rivers and streams, and the likelihood of flooding in the days to come.

Flooding spring rains have become the new normal in the Ohio valley the past few years, and 2019 appears to be following the trend, about two weeks early. In 2018, flooding hit the Cincinnati area the week of Feb. 20, and 2017 saw heavy flooding in early March.

So if you already have a damp basement, or want to take precautions in case your home floods, we're on on your side with some information that may help.

Preparing your home, just in case:

If you have a basement that has ever seen water before, it's probably a good idea to roll up and remove area rugs. Couches can be lifted and placed on bricks or cinder blocks.

And pick up any cardboard boxes sitting on the floor, especially in basement closets.

If you have a sump pump, test it. You can manually flip the trigger switch on most sump pumps, to make sure they are running and that there is no pipe clog.

And clear out driveway drains, which may be clogged with dirt and sticks after a month of winter weather.

Everyone should have an inventory of their furniture, electronics and other valuables, just in case of fire, flood or tornado. WCPO did a report on the most user-friendly apps to record everything you have, and store it in the Cloud.

Click here for home inventory apps, so you can easily make a recording of everything you have before it gets damaged by a storm.

Water in basement? What to do:

If things are already wet inside your home, we compiled a list of places you can turn to for assistance -- from cleanup companies, insurance coverage and even the Metropolitan Sewer District. In some cases you can apply for financial help.

The first thing you should do, however, is try to remove everything wet, especially carpeting and carpet padding. It will start getting moldy within 24 hours if left damp on a basement floor.

Click here for our story on where to turn for help if you have water in your home and need cleanup assistance or insurance coverage.

Companies like ServePro and Teasdale Fenton will be standing by with dozens of local crews to dry out flooded basements.

Considering flood insurance? Best value coverage:

Ever year, flood victims learn that standard insurance will not cover flood damage in most cases. This report looks at your options, and a cheaper way to get at least some coverage.

Click here to find out how to purchase flood insurance, and to learn about a cheaper option that is often perfect for Cincinnati homeowners and backup drain coverage.

Best of luck with this spring's rain, and as always, don't waste your money.


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