June 1 marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. In July 2019, Hurricane Barry made its expected debut along the Louisiana coast. Named for being the second hurricane of the season, Hurricane Barry made a less-than-stellar splash. Sustaining 75 mph winds, Hurricane Barry had a brief stint as a Category 1 hurricane before swiftly whirling into a mere tropical storm.
How the Hurricane Started
Louisiana residents anticipated the worst: storm surges up to 6 feet and the Mississippi River cresting to nearly 20 feet near the state’s most populous city, New Orleans. Though Hurricane Barry dropped just 2 to 6 inches of rain—rather than the expected 20 inches—it resulted in significant flood damage.
Severe flooding and winds ruined residential properties and businesses, totaling approximately $500 million in damages. The raging waters also cut power to 153,000 of Louisiana’s residents. One fatality occurred. The storm also unleashed snakes and critters that attempted to flee the rising floodwaters.
As more rain threatened central Louisiana and parts of Mississippi after Hurricane Barry’s departure, flash flooding became a dangerous likelihood. The fierce wind gusts blew off the rooftops of a few homes, leaving these startled residents scrambling for shelter elsewhere.
Hurricane Barry Damage vs. Other Texas Hurricanes
Depending on the severity of a typical hurricane, rebuilding could take months. Since Hurricane Barry’s destructive path was minimal in comparison to major hurricanes, like Harvey or Irma, returning to “a new normal” was expected to be sooner rather than later.
Recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Barry takes a community. Crews from across the nation contributed their expertise to help restore lost power in the area. State emergency personnel also received invaluable support from the FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams.
While aid from various resources is significant, individual homeowners can take steps to fully recover from Hurricane Barry’s destruction. Hurricane damage restoration efforts and rebuilding are only secondary to preserving the well-being of those affected.
Here are 5 steps on recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Barry:
1. Listen to News
While Hurricane Barry passed without leaving a harsh mark on the state, the additional rains that fall could pose as a significant problem for area residents. Future threats make it imperative that residents listen to local news to know when officials determine it is permissible to safely return home.
2. Proceed with Caution
Once local officials provide the go-ahead for people to return to their properties, homeowners should inspect the outside of the home prior to stepping inside. Gas leaks are invisible yet lethal. Floodwaters could damage gas lines, making it necessary to turn off the gas as a safety precaution before entering.
Also watch for dangling power lines. Floodwaters and loose power lines are a deadly mix. Electrocution is a stark possibility if a homeowner accidentally steps on a live power line submerged in floodwaters. Fallen electricity poles are just as dangerous if they are concealed under floodwaters.
Full safety measures include keeping ample distance from any structure that is surrounded by floodwaters. Homeowners should also stay out of any home into which the floodwaters have reached beyond the first floor.
While examining the premises, be on the watch for poisonous snakes. Hurricane Barry forced snakes and various critters out of their natural habitats and into the open. Homeowners who elect to enter a flooded home should be prepared with thick shoes and an alert, watchful eye.
3. Gather Evidence
Prior to embarking on cleanup efforts, take photographs of the damage to present to the homeowner’s insurance company. The notes, receipts for temporary repairs and visual documentation are critical for an insurance adjuster to accurately assess the damage and proceed with a claim.
4. Begin Cleanup
Since Hurricane Barry dumped 15 inches of water in some parts of Louisiana, many residents were faced with flooded basements. Rather than extracting the water from a water-logged basement all at once, gradually remove one-third of the water each day to prevent collapsed basement walls.
Extreme caution is necessary when pumping out water from the property. Water damage is known to severely weaken structural components, like walls and ceilings. When inside a saturated space, homeowners should be prepared to safely handle falling plaster and walls.
Hurricane Barry completely blew off the roofs of some residential homes. Rather than rush to hire a roofing contractor, which may lead to hiring an irreputable one, put in place a temporary solution. A tarp over the damaged roof serves as a short-term fix until a permanent solution is viable.
Water Damage Restoration and Dehumidification
Dry out and ventilate the damaged home by opening windows, doors, cabinets and closets. Run fans and dehumidifiers continuously to hasten the drying process. Water damage can be controlled by rapidly drying the premises. Mold growth, too, can be thwarted by acting fast to dry the area.
Severe damage to the home will require professional repairs. Before hiring the first contractor who offers a hand, be sure to check out the reviews on company websites. Fly-by-night contractors spring up in the midst of a devastation to scam vulnerable flood victims.
5. Recover Emotionally
The ruin that results from a hurricane or storm is stressful. The most important part of recovery is ensuring the welfare of the family. Discuss the event with others, and especially reassure children. Get ample rest and nutrition (but do not consume foods that were touched by floodwaters).
When severe weather like Hurricane Barry hits, the outcome can escalate into a crisis in no time. Target Restoration is prepared in Houston and central Texas to resolve the destruction that results from a storm or hurricane. As a reputable disaster restoration company, we offer comprehensive services to repair any level of ruin.
Target Restoration: Hurricane and Storm Damage Restoration
Our hurricane damage restoration services include water mitigation, emergency board ups to keep the elements from intruding, tarp protection in instances when the roof is destroyed, temporary roof repairs, debris removal, and mold remediation. Target Restoration also offers reliable reconstruction services to get homeowners back into their home quickly.
Home and business owners in Waco, Houston, Belton and the central Texas area turn to Target Restoration in the aftermath of catastrophes.
Our experienced and skilled technicians are available (877) 741-9026 to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.