Preparing For Floods If Rivers Overflow

By: Jennifer Weaver Email
By: Jennifer Weaver Email

Joanne Eason heard rain was headed to the area Friday night and one of her first thoughts was to check her sump pump, a lesson she learned the hard way.

"Back in 2008 when there was about six inches of rain over a few days period our basement flooded because our sump pump failed," Eason, an Okemos resident said.

Eason said she called a plumber and within 20 minutes all the water was gone but it left a hefty bill from damages.

"We suffered about a $7,000 loss and our insurance agent did tell us that we should invest in sump pump insurance and we did," Eason said.

She also checks her pump a few times a year. Employees at Michigan Plumbing say they have seen the damage rising water can do to homes in Okemos when sump pumps fail.

"The house had just burned down and they re-did it all," Dan Boles, a Service Manager at Michigan Plumbing said. "Then the basement flooded because the sump pumps weren't working after they rebuilt the house."

And floods are more widespread than Okemos, Emergency Management in Lansing says 9 percent of the city is in the floodplains.

"We were really lucky we got that early thaw," Ronda Oberlin, a Emergency Management Specialist said. "We lost a lot of that snow but of course we had additional snow since then and that's the concern, that the spring rains will melt the snow, the water goes into the river and there's flooding resulting from that."

In addition to making sure your sump pump is working the most important thing residents can do is find out if they live in a floodplain and understand the risks.

To find out if you live in a floodplain call the zoning information desk at: 517-483-4069.

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