Weekend rain leads to flooded basements in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - This weekend's rain didn't stay outside for some unlucky homeowners in East Tennessee. Cleanup crews received a number of emergency calls for flooded basements and leaky roofs.

Sara Martin's mother's basement in North Knoxville has four feet of standing water.

"A water problem in an old house is usually a couple inches, not a couple feet. This is crazy," said Martin.

She says the problem started this weekend during the rainstorms. 

"We had a nice system down in the basement - a sump pump, dehumidifier, all those pieces and parts to get water out in the case of one of these storms - but we remembered we hadn't gone down and checked to see if that was all mitigating the water coming in," she said.

This family is like many others in East Tennessee. SERVPRO said they received a number of emergency calls over the weekend for roof leaks, sump pump failures, and water seeping in through the walls.

Cleanup crews say anywhere water can come in, it will, and a flooded basement can happen fast.

"It's a matter of days and sometimes minutes that water can come in," said Nick Lee, production manager for SERVPRO.

Lee says now is the time to make sure all your equipment is working right. 

"Just be mindful and make sure that your sump pumps are working. Some houses have been known to put sandbags around the house, just take precautions," said Lee.

Crews say to check your home for leaks and know how to shut off your water main because an unattended leak could create mold.

"I'm just hoping it'll dry up a little bit this week because as soon as we can get down to the bottom of the problem, then we can at least do something about it and prevent once monsoon season hits, as it seems to in Tennessee in the spring, and then we can be ready," said Martin.

SERVPRO says January was one of their busiest months because of the frigid temperatures. Lee says they helped more than 100 homeowners with frozen pipes and flooding issues.

They say while it's not as cold right now, it's important to remember to keep checking pipes and your water heater, as well as keeping the heat on inside your home.

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