Nearly one week after an unexpected flash flood swept through a Wasilla neighborhood on Marilyn Circle, residents are trying to grasp the cost of clean-up and repairs. No one on the street has flood insurance because they say they had no idea that their homes were built in a flood zone.
Five homes were hit hard by the flood waters. On Wednesday, two of those houses were vacant. The other three are being cleaned up and dried out. In Louise Crabtree's house, not much is left. The home was completely gutted after nearly everything was destroyed in the flooding. Fans and heaters have been blasting for hours everyday to try and dry out any moisture left behind.
"We’ve got to get our ducts cleaned out and start blasting some heat in here before it freezes up," she said.
Her and her husband and their three children are staying at a hotel. Their two vehicles were a total loss after they were entirely submerged in the flash flood. The family spent the weekend gutting their home, taking truckloads to the dump. Crabtree says 50 people and counting- some friends, some neighbors, some strangers- have pitched in to help. Although she's lost her home, vehicles and tens of thousands of dollars due to flooding damage, she says she's looking on the bright side.
"I’ve lost stuff but can’t really say I lost anything, really. My family is safe," she said.
The original builder of the homes is also lending a hand. Homeowners on Marilyn Circle say he has offered to do a number of repairs, all at no cost. The help is greatly appreciated, since the cost of repairs will come out of the homeowners' pockets, says Kevin Powell, another homeowner whose house was flooded.
"None of us have flood insurance. No one suggested we were in a flood plain," Powell said.
He said he has seen a drainage report that was done back in 2001 which shows a man-made dam nearby. Residents are concerned that more rain could lead to flood waters washing through again. They are also worried that if they do not take the proper steps to clean up, the water damage could lead to even more problems. Mold removal companies like Servicemaster, says they have been extra busy responding to all of the calls after wind storms, heavy rain and flooding battered Southcentral.
"We find that with water damage, the sooner the better. Once you sustain damage, immediately begin mitigation or prevention steps to eliminate further damage from occurring," said Don Umbarger, disaster restoration manager at Servicemaster.
The Crabtree family expects it will take weeks before they will be able to settle back into their home.
“We have a long road ahead of us,” said Louise.
And after the repairs are made, they still fear that a flooding disaster could easily happen again.
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