Mid-South families wake up to flooded homes

Mid-South families wake up to flooded homes

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - Flash flooding has left the Mid-South soaked. Some of the worst hit areas include Germantown and Olive Branch.

“Everything I own, except my car and cats, is gone. My life is gone,” said Lori Bailey, resident.

Lori Bailey and Derick Purser woke up early Friday morning to a few inches of water in their home on Magnolia Drive in Olive Branch.

“All the way in the entire house is ruined,” said Derick Purser, resident.

As the minutes ticked by and the couple started making an escape plan, the water began to rise.

Eventually, about a foot and a half of water inundated their home because of a nearby drainage canal..

The water soaked carpets, furniture, and even got into appliances.

The couple said they have had problems with water levels before but never anything like this.

“Last night, early this morning was the worst it has ever been,” said Bailey.

In Memphis, at the Champion Hills at Windyke Apartments, managers said 16 units took on water overflow from a nearby creek.

They called in the Red Cross to help residents.

“Like a river flows, that's how fast it was coming,” said Jarius Nelson, resident.

Jarius Nelson was inside with his family when their apartment flooded.

Two of his vehicles were damaged as well.

A line of nearly two dozen cars were submerged in feet of water.

You can see how dangerously high the water got by the debris and mud left behind.

“By the grace of God, he was with me, but I'm grateful. I'm just glad to be alive,” said Nelson.

In Germantown, city officials said at least 30 homes sustained flood damage.

City employees went door to door Friday, performing preliminary damage inspections.

Melissa Salazar's home on Silkwood took on feet of water.

Firefighters helped rescue her two children at the height of the flood.

“It was like something you see in a movie. it was a nightmare,” said Salazar.

The cleanup is just beginning for many of the families in Germantown.

“We don't know what was in this water,” said Matthew Little, Servicemaster by Cornerstone.

Matthew Little is general manager of Servicemaster by Cornerstone. He said his group has received dozens of calls.

Little says the first step to cleaning a flooded home is getting everything wet out, then starting airflow to prevent mold. Anything the water touched must go.

“We never know what contaminants it carries, so industry standard is remove what materials got wet. So sheetrock, carpet, rugs, clothes, purses, cabinets... the standard is to remove those items,” said Little.

Salazar and her family packed up Friday.

She says for her and other neighbors, much of the cleanup will be paid for out of pocket.

Many do not have flood insurance because they weren't in a flood plain.

“No one has flood insurance, so this is not being covered,” said Salazar.

The restoration crews said it can take one to two months for them to take out cabinets, floors and sheetrock and replace it so families can move back in.

Neighbors in the area expressed frustration with the drainage canal.

City officials say they aren’t sure improvements would have helped since this was such a freak rain event.

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