Recent Storm Damage Posts

The Types of Floods You Might Encounter | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

a street completely submerged in water with a flood warning sign sitting in roadway Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO of West Milwaukee has the team to help you recover from any disastrous event.

In the United States, flooding is the most common natural disaster, claiming more lives each year than hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning combined. Individual homes with excess water can be affected, as can entire communities or even entire cities.

Flooding affects all 50 states and every U.S territory, but there are similarities in types and causality among all them. There are three common types of flooding, and they happen for four typical reasons.

<h4types-of-natural-flooding">3 Types of Natural Flooding

Flash floods are common, and they happen when heavy rain passes or sits over an area and overwhelms the ability of the ground to contain the moisture. Excess water runs off and takes garbage cans, cars and more with it.

River floods are exactly what they sound like. When there’s too much water for a river’s banks to hold, the water spills over the sides and causes destruction.

Coastal floods happen in areas next to large bodies of water, when storm surges or cyclonic activity causes ocean or gulf levels to rise to flood levels.

<h44-most-common-causes-of-natural-flooding">The 4 Most Common Causes of Natural Flooding

Heavy rainfall. Storms with excessive rainfall, or storms that sit and rest over an area for an extended period can cause flash floods or river flooding. Urban areas are more at risk for rain floods, because the higher percentage of concrete and asphalt means there’s a lack of soil to soak up all that water. In August of 2021, the Milwaukee area saw flooding like it hadn’t seen since 2008. In just two days, some areas saw as much as seven inches of rainfall, which lead to significant flash floods across the city. The total rainfall at Mitchell Airport on Sunday, August 2 was 4.79 inches, which broke the previous record of 2.79 inches significantly.

Oceanic activity. Storm surges, hurricanes and rising tides can cause water levels to rise in waves, which can invade coastal communities and wreak havoc.

Dams and levees failing. The most notable example of this in recent history would be the disastrous levee breaks during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Levees and dams fail when cracks occur or excess pressure overtakes the dam’s ability to contain the surge of water behind it.

Snowmelts and ice dams. In areas of the country where heavy snow and prolonged freezing temperatures are common, snow and ice can build up over a winter’s time, and when they start to melt, they cause rivers of water to flow through area communities. Ice dams or ice jams happen when rivers become blocked by built-up ice being carried downstream, causing the banks to overflow.

Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when flooding or water damage makes a mess in your life.

Examining U.S. Spring Weather Threats | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

an image with a cloudy, rainy, sunny and snowy sky Extreme temperature changes can lead to the possibility of severe weather. SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is a click away if you experience any damage.

As one of the world’s largest countries, the United States experiences a variety of seasonal weather patterns, resulting in a wide variety of seasonal weather threats.

We will examine the many weather patterns that might develop as spring approaches and warm and cold air masses mix throughout the country, as well as what we can anticipate in Missouri.

The Pacific Northwest is prone to severe rain in the spring, which may result in flooding and water damage. At higher elevations, snow will continue to accumulate, and its melting and runoff will create their own set of issues.

Winters in the Upper Midwest and Northeast, including Wisconsin, are exceptionally severe compared to the rest of the country, with freezing temperatures persisting throughout the season. Residents from Maine to the Dakotas should expect very cold weather even into the spring season, as well as the possibility of snow and freezing conditions.

Severe thunderstorms are a threat to the state, particularly during the spring and summer months. Strong derechos can blast at upwards of 120 mph, resulting in power outages and tens of millions of dollars in damages. Tornadoes are not as common in Wisconsin as in other midwestern states, but they do occasionally occur.

The Southwest will need to be watchful for severe heat waves that pose a danger to life and property. The South Pacific region, which includes Hawaii, will be on the lookout for tsunamis triggered by tectonic activity.

Windstorms, derechos and the potential of wildfires, which spread quickly in high winds and dry seasons, will be an issue for the central United States, which stretches from Iowa to Texas. Tornado Alley is an area within this region that is prone to strong storms and tornadoes.

The Southeast may see a variety of severe weather events, ranging from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in landlocked areas to hazardous rip currents and hurricanes later in the season.

All 50 states face a substantial danger from extreme weather. Regardless of the difference in danger between you and a relative in another state, being prepared is always a good idea.

If extreme weather leaves you with damage from water, fire or other elements, help is a click away. Contact SERVPRO for fast, expert recovery.

 

Winter Storms Are Coming—Are You Ready? | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

a close-up image of a car and tire moving through snow If winter weather should bring damage to your home or business, contact SERVPRO of West Milwaukee for fast, restorative solutions.

Lake Michigan winters are a different level of winter, and they require preparation. A wait-and-see attitude toward winter in Milwaukee will have you up to your neck in snow with no power and no heat.

Winter’s risks should never be minimized or overlooked, so whether you’re a Milwaukee lifer or new to the area, it’s a good idea to go over some of the necessary preparations as we head into the bitter cold of the cold season.

Protect Your Family

When Jack Frost is nipping at…well, everything, you’ll be glad you created an emergency action plan to keep your family safe and connected during winter storms. In case of evacuation they’ll know what to do, where to meet and how to stay in touch.

Get your family vehicles ready for winter, too. Check batteries to make sure they’ll last and crank through the tough winter cold, top off all your fluids, and make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape.

Check the status of your home and car emergency kits as well, ensuring you have the water, medicine and supplies you would need to survive and outage, evacuation or otherwise-stuck situation.

Protect Your Home

Frozen pipes are the bane of every cold-weather homeowner’s existence, so keeping them insulated and keeping water flowing freely has got to be a priority when the thermometer is at chilling levels.

Speaking of insulation, make sure your attic is adequately insulated and your windows are sealed, so that warm air isn’t escaping and cold air isn’t intruding.

Check your heat sources—if you use a gas or electric HVAC system, let a pro do any necessary maintenance or repairs before winter pushes your unit to its limit and threatens to overwhelm it. If you use wood, clean out your chimney or furnace to ensure safe use through the winter, and stock up on some extra wood in case you get shut inside.

Protect Your Pets

With rare exception, dogs and cats aren’t meant for the kind of cold we experience here. Bring your pets inside to enjoy the comforts of home during the winter.

If you do have cold weather breeds or livestock, make sure they always have non-frozen water available, as well as somewhere to take shelter.

Watch for Melts and Flooding

Dangerous floods and ice dams are a real threat after winter storms and precipitation, so keep an eye on your roof for any potential damage from ice dams, and keep your notifications turned on from a trusted weather source for updates about potential thaw flooding.

If winter weather should bring damage or flooding to your home or business, contact SERVPRO for fast, restorative solutions.

 

Summer Storm Planning | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike in a dark stormy sky If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is on the line, ready to make things right.

Summer calendars are full of fun activities. Long days full of sun make us year for outdoor activity—maybe you’re heading to the park to watch the Brew Crew, or maybe you’re taking the kids to splash around at a local pool or splash pad.

Whatever your plans are, though, don’t forget to bring an umbrella along.

It seems counterintuitive, but summer months are also a highly active time for thunderstorms. The highest month of rainfall in Milwaukee is June, and all of summer is above average in rainfall. Additionally, the warmth of summer combines with moisture from Lake Michigan to produce a higher likelihood that those extra inches of rain will come via storms.

Be Storm-Alert

Storms can pop up seemingly out of nowhere in summer. Pay close attention to notifications from weather apps or local weatherpeople. An NOAA Weather radio can always keep you updated as well, with the added bonus of being able to continue alerting you if power is knocked out.

If a flood watch is put into effect, you should postpone outdoor activities or think twice about travel plans. Take a look around at home as well—you might need to tie down or move some things to they don’t get blown or washed away in a heavy storm.

Preparing for a storm doesn’t quite excite the heart like watching Christian Yelich hit dingers, but it’s a difference-maker when it comes to safety. Storms cause an unfortunate number of deaths every year, and most of them could have been prevented.

Be Storm-Safe

Being outdoors during a storm is asking for trouble. Keep yourself inside from time thunder starts until it has stopped for at least 30 minutes to stay out of lightning’s strike range.

Lightning can electrify tubs and showers if it strikes the home, so bathe later when it’s dry. Lightning can also shatter windows, so sit or stand away from them during the storm.

Ensure that your emergency kit is stocked and ready, with anything you may need for up to three days without power. And a kit in the car can be a vital help if evacuation becomes necessary in extreme situations.

If it does flood, stay inside or get to high ground. Coming in contact with flood water can carry you or your car away, conceal roads that are damaged and unsafe or even make you sick.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.

Storms Are More Active and More Costly | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

a large yellow warning sign stating that there is stormy weather ahead When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to start the restoration process.

2020 was an incredibly disturbing year for everyone, and a devastating year for far too many. Multitudes of us were stricken by the COVID-19 virus in one way or another, and almost everyone suffered the mental taxation of an extended quarantine period.

And not to be outdone by producing the worst scourge in a hundred years, the year also became a historic one as it pertained to disastrous weather. In fact, 2020 saw more weather disasters than any previous year on record.

A storm or weather event that causes over a billion dollars in damage is officially classified as a weather disaster. Last year, the U.S. was afflicted by 22 of these events, as well as a troupe of others that (thankfully) didn’t quite make that kind of financial impact.

The Atlantic hurricane season was so productive, in fact, that the NOAA ran out of names, and for just the second time in history had to resort to using Greek letters to name storms.

Not Just Hurricanes

Hurricanes are often assumed to be the storm types that cause the most financial turmoil, but the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were actually thunderstorms and tornadoes. Fourteen of the storms classified as disasters were storms of some type.

Here’s an extreme example of the damage possible because of a single system: A line of storms in Nebraska last August that would typically be no big worry banded together and churned into a razor-like storm called a derecho. The massive storm sliced through over 100 million acres of corn fields—that’s more than 150,000 square miles—compromising over 11% of the entire country’s corn production in one fell swoop.

Around here, we saw the edges of that derecho reach all the way up to the Great Lakes, and we had our share of other storms throughout the year, including record-setting snowfalls and flooding caused by heavy rains in August and November.

Not Just 2020

While we definitely hope 2021 and following years will be milder, we do seem to be on an upward trend of storm activity and intensity. Each year of the last 10 has endured at least eight billion-dollar disasters, and two of those years set the previous records for activity with 16 storms each. 2017 set a benchmark for damages caused, with over $300 billion in reconstruction expenses.

Precautions against storm and water damage are the responsibility of every property owner. But when extreme weather comes, sometimes those preparations are unable to withstand the fury of Mother Nature.

When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.