Mopping Up a Major Mess

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While most of us went to work or school today, hundreds of others spent their day after Labor Day pumping water out of basements, mopping and sopping up mud, and sifting through drenched family mementos and property.

Even a sealed plastic container couldn't save much of the Abernathy's belongings. These drenched books...are the just the beginning.

"Heat is the biggest thing I'm worried about right now is the furnace cause it's starting to get cooler at night and we're gonna need heat," says Joni Abernathy, whose basement got flooded.

Joni Abernathy came home to a basement filled with four feet of water. Almost everything...completely soaked. The flood has put Abernathy behind the financial eight-ball. She needs a new water heater...washer and dryer...and new electronics. But it's the memories she about which she is most concerned .

"Pictures, rewards..that the kids have gotten," Abernathy says. "It's gonna be hard, cause I've always put them on the tree."

While the circumstances are difficult, the Abernathy's are luckier than many of their neighbors...their flooding stayed in the basement. Others have even bigger problems.

"What happens there's such a rush of force water that once it get to the basement it starts eroding around the foundation," says James Bronch of the Rockford City Building Department.

James Bronch says the water then pushes the walls when water starts to get pumped out...the walls collapse...causing even more damage.

"We could have had structural damage and at least it's the contents and those could be replaced," Abernathy says.

The Abernathy's have gotten most of the water pumped out. But there still a lot more work ahead of them

The Abernathy's home warranty does not cover flood damage because it's considered an "act of god." They're still waiting to hear if their home owners insurance will help repair and replace the 15-thousand dollars worth of damage.