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The Daily



07-10-03: Residents facing huge cleanup task
The Daily Standard
    The flood cleanup work already underway has led to empty shelves at local hardware stores, as residents are hauling home new sump pumps, electric generators and other plumbing supplies.
    Several other businesses are either closed or threatened by rising waters.
    Craig Boes, manager of Tractor Supply Co., 4581 U.S. 127, said the store has seen its entire stock of sump pumps, plus an emergency order, snapped up by flood victims. Only one pump remained on the shelf Tuesday, but Boes had placed another emergency order for 50 more pumps.
    People also are buying up electric generators to ensure their existing basement pumps keep working even through a power failure, Boes said.
    The story is much the same at St. Henry True Value Hardware, 702 N. Eastern Ave., owner Larry Balster said. All sump pumps were off the shelves Tuesday morning with more on order, Balster said. The store also is moving a lot of vacuums and other water-extracting equipment. The store's rental business is seeing lots of people wanting to lease generators and pumps, he said.
    Ace Hardware, 902 N. Main St., Celina, had an emergency shipment of 50 sump pumps arrive Monday afternoon, but only a handful remained on the shelves Tuesday, employee Donna Gardner said. Shop-vacs are another big seller, and a new shipment recently was placed on the shelves, she said.
    Area carpet cleaners are doing more carpet removal than cleaning. Basement carpet that has been submerged - especially if it has padding underneath it - is virtually impossible to clean, they said.
    A spokeswoman from Stanley Steemer, 109 Portland St., Celina, said the company has visited 42 homes since the rains came on Independence Day. Crews are working extra-long days to keep up with the demand for services, she said. In most cases, crews are pulling up soaked carpet, cutting it into manageable pieces and then discarding it. The floor underneath is then scrubbed and disinfected.
    Chris Kreischer, owner of All-Star Carpet Cleaning in Willshire, said he and his crew nearly became stranded in Willshire while working Monday.
    "The hardest part is getting around to the places we need to be," Kreischer said. "Sometimes you can't drive more than a quarter-mile without running into standing water."
    The St. Marys River is still rising quickly near Willshire, he said, and his crew had to rush to finish a job so they could safely move outside the village.
    Kreischer agreed that soaked basement carpet should be thrown away.
    The city of Celina will provide trash bins at three locations for city residents to dispose of flood-damaged items. The bins will be in place beginning today and will be available for about a week. They will be placed at the Chief supermarket and both Celina Big Bear locations. No paint or other chemicals will be accepted.
    A few area businesses also faced water damage.
    Breakaway Rec Plex, for example, reportedly had several feet of standing water on its lower level and has closed the fitness facility.
    "As many of you have driven by and seen, the outside area flooded due to the spillway and Beaver (Creek) backing up, the inside of our facility is also flooded," Breakaway management said in a news release. "At this point, we have no idea the amount of time the facility will be closed, or the extent of the damages. We currently have no power or phones available. We cannot get inside the facility to assess the damages until the water has cleared."
    Members of the facility will not be charged for the month of July, the statement said.
    Across the street, at Community Medical Center, water surrounded most of the facility and Mercer County Community Hospital officials were touring the site to review the damage.
    Hospital CEO Jim Isaacs said that water has not entered the building, but the facility will remain closed as long as the parking lot remains under water. Water would have to rise another 9 to 12 inches before it would threaten the building, he said.
    "We'll have to keep monitoring the situation," Isaacs said. "If it gets worse, we'll have to do some sand-bagging or something to protect the building."
    At nearby WCSM Radio on Schunk Road, employees have had to wade through water to get to work.
    "We have sandbagged and tried to pump water out continuously, but with the rain continuing, it is getting more difficult to get to the station," General Manager John Coe told the Associated Press on Tuesday night.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822