Grand Forks Neighborhood Busy Cleaning Up Storm Damage
Some homeowners say they got up to two feet of water in their basements
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Nothing says “congrats on getting hitched” like coming back home to this.
“We didn’t expect anything like this to happen. We were in Devil’s Lake this weekend coming back home from getting married and my wife pulled in first and she noticed all the garbage on the street and everything was underwater. Water was gone but you could see where the water was,” said Durain Hiten.
Hiten says the torrential rain on Friday simply became too much for his sump pump to handle.
Now the couple has to throw away most of the stuff that was in their basement, just like the rest of their neighbors on Vail Circle.
“We had a finished basement so everything from TVs to furniture to all my Christmas stuff is down there. I’m a Christmas freak. I worry about the rains because five inches of rain? We should have been able to handle,” said Kathy Loff.
Loff says the water in her basement got up to just under her knees.
The City of Grand Forks says it’s what several homeowners are experiencing after the sewage system was backed up from too much water falling in such a short amount of time.
“To put it into perspective, one pump station as an example will normally pump about 600,000 gallons a day. That’s average. On Saturday, it pumped 4.5 million gallons,” said John Bernstrom, with the City of Grand Forks.
But it was the neighborhoods sitting lower that will be cleaning up the brunt of Friday’s mess for some time.
“I don’t know what can be done other than another drain at the other end, maybe that will help. I have no idea but I wish somebody would figure it out because we might start vacating if we don’t get some kind of help,” Loff said.
The City of Grand Forks says if neighbors want help they should call the city’s emergency disasters group that has been activated to help with the cleanup.
So far, its received more than 60 calls today.
The Salvation Army has also passed out more than 25 flood kits.
Until the mess is cleaned up, Loff says there’s only one way to describe it all.
“Disaster, warzone,” she said.
Grand Forks will have extra garbage trucks and pay loaders out this week to pick up any trash people leave on their curb.