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Flooding damages basements in Madison area

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:08:52 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 30 2013 07:27:27 AM CST

Many people in the Madison area are dealing with water in their basements after record warm temperatures and heavy rain arrived Monday night, causing some flooding problems.

Restoration companies, like Servpro, have been very busy since the big thaw overnight Monday.

"I knew before I even got into work that it was going to be busy," said Pam Gray, project manager at Servpro of Madison.

At a home Servpro is helping in Fitchburg, the homeowner said they found water shooting out of their downstairs toilet like a fire hydrant. There was just too much nearby water and nowhere for it to go.

"On this particular house, they actually have a sump pump, and the sump pump actually couldn't keep up with the amount of rain that was coming into the house," Gray said.

"Certainly, it's unusual, but it's not breaking the mold," said Jonathan Martin, a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Martin said winds this time of year tend to come from the north or south, and Wisconsin is in the prime spot for extreme temperature shifts.

"So when they come from the south, you get warm, and when they turn the corner and go from the north, you're not far from Canada where it's cold all winter long," Martin said.

It's the type of weather that not a lot of people like to see, especially when it causes a major mess in people's basements. But, at the same time, it's big business for those helping to clean it all up.

"You just don't know. We've had a lot of bizarre ones in the last week," Gray said.

Costs for a cleanup like this aren't cheap. Depending on how bad it is, it could cost in the thousands. In most cases, unless people have flood insurance, they are on their own to pay the cost.

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