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Trying To Clean Up Wet Basements In Heat, Humidity

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ST. ANTHONY, Minn. (WCCO) – Another day of dangerous heat in Minnesota and that heat is making it harder for many people whose houses were hit by this weekend’s heavy rains. The heavy humidity is making it difficult for homeowners to dry out their stuff.

The Mirror Lake Condominiums in St. Anthony were hit hard by the rain and are dealing with flood cleanup problems.

In Carolyn Mathieson living room, about two feet of sheet rock had to be removed in order to avoid growth of any toxic mold. Things are stacked in what she calls her now unrecognizable kitchen to keep it off the floor and dry.

Mathieson’s is one of 12 other first floor units also declared “uninhabitable.”

“I heard a little gargling, but I didn’t know where that was coming from,” she recalled.

Mathieson said the flooding was, literally, a rude awakening.

“Until my phone rang and I stepped out of bed, I didn’t realize the whole house was in water,” she said.

One minute, she was comfortably nestled in her bedroom and the next she was standing in water.

“Over my ankles almost,” said Mathieson.

“It was scary cause you didn’t know when it was going to stop,” said Rich Benz. “The water was up over this curb, and into the lower level of the cabinets.”

Those are cabinets that were holding Benz’s collectibles.

“It’s my prized three volume collection of Tolkien, Lord of the Rings,” he said. “You know they’re important to me, stuff from my youth, I thought I’d be passing along to my kids.”

Benz said the most frustrating part is dealing with the weather.

“I was stationed in Guam, in the Navy, and it feels like subtropical,” he said. “The air is so wet it’s just not taking up any moisture.”

But the heavy air isn’t stopping kind acts by neighbors and a remarkably upbeat attitude.

“We’ll somehow manage to dig our way out or in or whatever it is,” laughed Mathieson.

A lot of these first floor residents, including Mathieson, are in the process of contacting their insurance agents to see if they can receive some sort of compensation. Several of them said their policies don’t cover flood-damage.

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