With temperatures starting to settle in at the high 40s and low 50s, Iowans can finally say it feels like spring! However, due to one of the most brutal winters we’ve had in awhile, we still have plenty of snow on the ground. Not only that, there are still layers of frost that are embedded within the soil. As the weather begins to warm up, all of this moisture in the soil will loosen up, make its way downhill, and eventually try to find a stream. Midwest residents, especially those living by bodies of water or rivers, will need to take extra precaution as the snow starts to melt.

Expected High Flood Levels From Snow Melt

After a warm and wet past couple of days throughout Iowa, plenty of snow and rain has made its way into streams and rivers across the state. In fact, some cities have already started experiencing flooding. ServiceMaster By Rice crews in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area have already been helping locals with water damage repair and will likely remain busy for the next couple of weeks. Residents who live close to the Cedar River, Black Hawk River, South Skunk River, and Des Moines River are at a high chance of being impacted by floodwaters. You can learn more about which rivers are at the highest risk in Iowa in this chart provided by the National Weather Service.

How To Protect Your Home or Business From Flooding

Unfortunately, there is very little that we can do to stop rising water levels, especially when they happen at a fast rate. If you live in a high-risk flood zone, there is a good chance your home or business will be affected by flooding from snowmelt. However, the preparation and steps you take before can protect your family, home, and belongings and minimize the damage and losses.

  • Purchase flood insurance. If you live in a flood zone and you don’t have the proper insurance for flood protection, we recommend that you don’t hesitate to purchase it.
  • Move important items to a higher level. If your basement or lower level of your business is full of important items, either move them out of the building or to higher ground. If you live in the bottom floor of an apartment complex and you can’t achieve higher ground, we recommend stacking items on your tables, countertops, bed, couches, and whatever else can elevate them off of the ground.
  • Pay attention to flood alerts and water levels. Over the next couple of weeks, stay on top of weather alerts and keep an eye on the water levels around you. As rivers and streams flow their way down towards the south from northern states like Minnesota, rivers in Iowa will continue to rise and become over-saturated.

What To Do After A Flood

If your home or business happens to be affected by flooding, it’s important that you take immediate action. The longer you wait, the more likely there will be long term effects.

  • Remove as much water as you can. If there is standing water in your house, use whatever tools you have accessible to start removing water yourself. Things like a shop-vac are great for doing this. However, if there is water anywhere remotely close to the outlets, do not attempt removing any water on your own.
  • Take photographs of the damage. Whenever your home is safe enough to re-enter, record all the damage that you can. This will benefit you largely for insurance purposes. Any sort of evidence of damage that you can provide is always a good thing.
  • Call a professional cleaning crew. When water damage affects your home or business, simply removing the water yourself is not enough. Without proper flood remediation, your building will be at risk for mold growth, requiring you to need mold removal down the line.

Remediation Services By ServiceMaster By Rice

ServiceMaster By Rice first opened our doors in Des Moines back in 1954. Since then, we have expanded to multiple locations throughout Iowa and Minnesota, most recently opening locations in Mason City and Marshalltown. Whether you need water damage remediation, fire damage repair, trauma cleanup, or any of our other services, don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our IICRC certified technicians are available for 24/7 emergency service at all locations.