resident Alex Grabski said if it wasn't for his parents' and neighbors' preparations their basements surely would have flooded as a result of .
Grabski said his father and neighbors set up three pumps across their backyards to pump the water into the street.
"It was like a lake out there," he said. "If we wouldn't have been prepared our basement would've flooded, for sure."
He said anytime there is a heavy storm his dad will set up a pump in the driveway because it is unlevel and water will collect and has the potential to drain into the basement.
Grabski is one of the few Farms residents whose home did not flood following the that put many roads underwater and impassable by vehicle. have alerted the city of potential damage as a result of the weather.
Being prepared for a heavy rainstorm is crucial to protect not only the structure, but also its contents, agent Ed Lazar said.
Lazar has been selling insurance for more than 20 years. He said there are very basic things residents can do to protect their home. Among his recommendations are the following:
- Make sure the ground around the house is higher that than the surrounding area.
- Make sure the water drains away from the foundation of the house.
- Keep basement drains clear of debris, inside and out.
"It's important to use common sense," Lazar said. "It is usually a good idea to make sure that you are keeping your stuff in the basement off the floor on a shelf as well as checking the drains."
The other key, he said, is to know the details of insurance coverage. He said no homeowners insurance covers flooding, but that flood insurance is sold separately and can only be obtained if a home is in a designated flood zone.
"Every homeowners insurance excludes backing up sewers and drains," he said. "There is no insurance unless the owner purchases an endorsement that of backing up drain and sewer coverage."
Usually policies cover $10,000 of structural damage with a small allotment for content coverage, which covers appliances physically attached to the structure such as a hot water heater and furnace.
If a house does flood, it is important that homeowners get the mess cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. One the best ways is to contact a company that specializes in water removal, Lazar said.
Emergency water removal/restoration company Jarvis Property Restoration received 65 calls from the Grosse Pointe area since the May 25 storm, company spokesman Don Wilgus said.
Although there are things residents can do to help prepare for and prevent flooding, Wilgus said the May 25 floods were nearly unavoidable because they were the result of the sewer system backing up.
"One of the best things people can do is check their sump pump," he said. "They can make a big difference in preventing major flood damage."
Wilgus added that nearly every basement has a sump pump and that it is crucial for residents to make sure theirs is in working order.
Water backup systems are also good investments he said. The cost is between $400 and $500, but Wilgus said that investment is worth it when it comes to preserving basements, especially finished ones.
Grosse Pointe Farms City Manager Shane Reeside said the Farms did everything it could to prepare for a big storm, but that the latest storms exceeded any expectations.
"You can prepare for an event, a 50-year or 100-year storm, but this one far exceeded any preparations that we may have had," Reeside said.
He added that the city engineer is reviewing the city's plan and will determine if any adjustments need to be made for future preparations.