Recent Storm Damage Posts

Summer Storm Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike in a dark stormy sky If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties is on the line, ready to make things right.

Summer is in full bloom, and it brings with it all the things we love about the warmest season. Many of us finally get to take our anticipated vacations, higher temperatures practically beg us to head to the pool or the coast, and the days are longer and full of sunshine—most of the time, that is.

It may sometimes seem that summer months are more prone to thunderstorms, and that would be because it’s totally true. The presence of moisture and warm air mean that atmospheric conditions are more favorable for heavy storms in summer, especially in certain parts of the country.

The beginning of summer typically greets the Portland area with less rain than the earlier months of the year, but September begins to ramp back up toward double-digit rainy days per month.

Be Storm-Alert

Thunderstorms don’t often get a lot of attention, because we see so much rain in Oregon anyway, but they should never be ignored. You should always heed storm alerts, and when thunderstorms are predicted, you should consider postponing outdoor events as a safety precaution.

Keep an eye on local weather forecasts and buy yourself an NOAA Weather radio, which can continue to keep you updated if power is lost.

If flooding is forecast, stay inside and off the road. Heavy storms can sever tree branches and toss around backyard items and trash cans, so keep your trees trimmed and move garbage cans, trampolines or patio furniture to safety.

Dozens of people die every year in storm-related situations, so exercising caution is always your best bet. Never take storms for granted.

Be Storm-Safe

Stay inside during lightning storms. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from where it’s raining, making it unsafe to resume outdoor activity until 30 minutes after you’ve heard the last clap of thunder.

It turns out your mom was correct—you shouldn’t bathe or shower during a thunderstorm, and you should stay away from windows.

In cases of flooding or extreme thunderstorms, prepare an emergency kit, and be familiar the evacuation route for your part of town. Stay on high ground and avoid touching flood waters. Flood waters can carry you or even your vehicle away, and they can also conceal roads that have been damaged or washed away, so turn around if you come to flooded roads.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.

The Rising Frequency and Cost of Severe Storms | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

a large yellow warning sign stating that there is stormy weather ahead When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to start the restoration process.

As if 2020 wasn’t dramatic enough with a global pandemic, it also brought the extra stress of being a record-setting year for natural disasters. 2020 saw more weather disasters than any year for which we have data.

There were 22 officially classified disasters in 2020 (which means there were 22 events that caused at least a billion dollars in damages), plus a number of other damaging storms that didn’t reach that financial level. The National Weather Service actually ran through its entire planned list of names and had to resort to naming storms using the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history.

Not Just Hurricanes

Hurricanes get the finger pointed at them first for causing destruction and financial damage, but in fact, the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes. 

Fourteen of 2020’s official weather disasters were severe thunderstorms, some of which caused destructive tornadoes as well. Unlike hurricanes, thunderstorms happen year-round in the United States, and they happen coast to coast.

Just take this example of what a single storm can do: In August 2020, a seemingly normal line of storms in Nebraska gained steam and gave birth to a derecho (think of a tornado comprised of slashing straight-line winds instead of rotating air) which damaged more than 10 million acres of Nebraska’s corn fields. That’s almost half the state’s crop, and over 11% of the corn crop of the entire United States.

While Oregon suffered the devastation of wildfires in 2020, Oregonians also dealt with heavy rains, snow and even historic windstorms.

Not Just 2020

One would like to think 2020 was an outlier in this regard, but unfortunately, it seems as though it’s just part of the current pattern. It was the 10th year consecutively with at least 8 official disasters, following up 2018 and 2019, which saw a total of $136 billion in weather damages, and 2017, which saw a record total of over $300 billion by itself.

Storms are a potential problem for everyone, and as a home or business owner, it’s in your interest to take the necessary precautions to minimize property damage and keep everyone under the roof safe. But should those precautions prove insufficient or ineffective in an unexpected weather disaster, remember that you’ve got a friend in the restoration industry.

When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.

Problems That a Thunderstorm Can Cause | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties if you experience any damage.

Even though we don't often see them along the coast and Columbia River - every single thunderstorm is dangerous due to lightning, high winds and heavy rains. Many occur and cause no issues but there is always the potential of danger present.

During a thunderstorm, there will always be thunder and lightning present, often accompanied by rainy and windy conditions. Thunderstorms are often to severe status in certain scenarios where there are high winds over 58 miles per hour and hail that is over an inch in diameter. Regardless of if the thunderstorm is regular or severe, it should always be taken extremely seriously.

Damages That Often Occur Due to Thunderstorms

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. When a storm contains thunder, it also contains lightning every single time. Lightning is a dangerous force and causes at least 300 bodily injuries annually. Lightning can also damage homes and buildings due to fire hazards or by felling trees or telephone poles nearby.

Property damage due to hail. Not every thunderstorm has hail, but when one does, it is important to acknowledge just how dangerous it can be. Hail falls extremely quickly and can cause injury to anyone who is not sheltered adequately when it occurs. Additionally, hail can dent cars and cause damage to the structural integrity of homes by damaging the roof or siding and letting water in.

Harm from flash flooding. While flooding is typically contained to areas near bodies of water, flash flooding can happen anywhere that heavy rain is occurring. It is often associated with underperforming storm drains or runoff areas, but as rain continues to fall, it can quickly become a major concern. Flash floods are highly dangerous even if they are just a few inches high and can happen suddenly.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

Home Projects to Prepare Your Family for Spring Storms | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

heavy rain coming down from dark clouds If you experience any property damage from spring storms, contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties.

How has your family been doing during this cold, wet, pandemic winter?

If you’re ready for spring, you’re just one of the many families in our region that are. You’re in good company.

It’s already March, so people are beginning to think more about what they can do when the weather warms up enough to spend time outside. You can plan outdoor projects, like more landscaping or a new deck or gazebo.

While you’re doing these projects to make your house more attractive, consider adding some projects to make your home a safer place, too. You can do things now to protect your home from strong storms later. The good news is that most of these projects aren’t time-consuming or expensive. With a little help and a long, sunny weekend, you can get them done.

Is Your Home Ready for a Spring Storm?

Check out these projects and see if they merit a place on your home improvement priority list:

Declutter any debris you find in your gutter. When your gutters are in good shape, it allows water around your home to flow the right way. If gutters are full of debris, they can overflow and cause water damage. Our team recommends cleaning your gutters regularly. You may want to do this every season, so you’re always prepared for heavy rains.

If you have a sump pump, check it sooner rather than later. If your home needs one of these to keep water out of your basement, then it’s a good idea to be sure it’s working before you need it.

Prepare your roof for stormy weather. Make it your priority to look for missing shingles and signs of leaks. If you repair your roof early on, you don’t have to face finding out about leaks and damage during a storm. You’ll save yourself time, money and other issues surrounding water damage.

If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.

They’re Depending on You: Protect Your Pets in a Storm | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning crashes and Fido is nowhere to be found. You search and search only to discover your pup in the basement, hiding between the water heater and the rat poison. Yikes!

When animals panic, such as during a storm or even a fireworks display, they can get hurt. Let’s talk about keeping your pet safe during a storm. In this blog, we’ll focus on indoor pets.

If You’re Staying in Place

Be aware that pets may run and hide—bringing them into contact with parts of the house where they don’t usually hang out. Know their hiding places so you can easily find them when a storm strikes.

Depending on the storm you’re threatened with, you may go into a sheltered location, such as in the basement or under the stairs. A pet that’s already frightened can resist the move or set up a ruckus once there. Be sure to get your pet used to your shelter room when the horizon’s clear.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals (ASPCA) suggests removing any hazardous materials, such as rat bait, from your family’s storm shelter. It might be a good idea to pet-proof your animals’ favorite hiding place, too.

If You Need to Evacuate

Again, your first step is to know your pet’s hidey-holes—this time, so you can quickly grab them in case of a flood or another situation where you need to evacuate quickly.

Like humans, pets need a “go bag” with basic supplies to carry in case of an evacuation. This can include medicine, a leash, medical paperwork, shot records and even a pet first-aid kit. The ASPCA even has a handy video tutorial to help you assemble your own pet first-aid kit.

From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike at any time. If you’ve experienced storm damage, contact us at any hour for assistance.