Recent Storm Damage Posts

Don't let Florida Winters fool you, always be storm ready.

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Don't let Florida Winters fool you, always be storm ready. Sever storm weather hitting Florida early December 3rd, 2018

Florida is known for it's sunny weather, and mild winters.  Don't let all the snowbirds fool you as they flock south for the winter, Florida is no stranger to winter storm fronts.  Due to it's mild temperatures and relative humidity, Florida can experience violent storms as cold fronts move southward towards its sunny beaches.  This is evident as a cold front descended towards North Central Florida this morning creating severe thunderstorms and spawning tornado warnings across Suwannee, Columbia and Gilchrist counties that are expected to move south east towards Alachua County throughout the day.

Are you prepared for possible flooding and damaged caused by strong winds and fallen trees?  As a home or business owner you can prepare by keeping a watch on your local weather alerts such as the Alachua County alert page at http://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/EM/Pages/AlertAlachua.aspx.  You will also want to keep the phone number of SERVPRO of Alachua County West handy for any storm damage needs that you may have, because we are "Faster to any size disaster."

Strong storms hit Gainesville in the early morning hours of 3/19/18… Were you ready?

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Strong storms hit Gainesville in the early morning hours of 3/19/18… Were you ready? A large tree fell on warehouse in Southwest Gainesville on March 19th, 2018.

Here in Florida, we are used to watching the weather stations in the days leading up to major storm events such as hurricanes, but we often get severe weather that sneaks up on us and does more damage than we expect in our area.  Violent thunderstorms can cause wind, hail, and water damage as well as cause tornadoes and microbursts.  Most of us know what thunderstorms and tornadoes are and what they bring, but a lot of serious storm damage occurs here in Florida due to microbursts.  Most people have heard of them causing plane crashes, but what exactly are they?

  • Micro bursts are mainly formed by single-cell storms (although airmass storms and squall lines can produce them).
  • Microbursts are caused by the rain falling from the cloud. As it falls, it pulls down air with it which starts evaporating the rain, cooling it.  Cooler air is denser than the warm air around it so it descends even faster causing a microburst.
  • There are two types of microbursts, dry and wet. Dry microbursts are more common and are caused when all of the rain evaporates before the air reaches the ground, which can be harder to see them coming and wet microbursts contain rain when they hit the ground.
  • Microbursts can hit the ground at up to 6,000 feet per minute and spread out causing a vortex ring around the outside of the microburst.
  • Winds from a microburst can reach speeds that are similar to an E1 tornado and can cause lots of property damage, such as:
    • Downed trees
    • Roof damage
    • Broken windows and punctured siding from flying debris
    • Destroyed buildings and structures
    • Damage to electrical poles and wires
    • Damage from accompanying hail and heavy rains

That’s why SERVPRO is the best choice in emergency/storm mitigation and restoration, we are always ready, and “Faster to any size disaster” than the competition.  We also have the backing of the largest restoration company in the world behind us, no matter how large or small the storm event is. 

SERVPRO celebrates National Red Cross month after the busy storm season.

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO celebrates National Red Cross month after the busy storm season. SERVPRO of Alachua County West is proud to be a National partner with the Red Cross.

The 2017-2018 storm season has been one of the most active in recent memory, and as for any storm disaster SERVPRO is there to assist.  Another presence that is there to help others in need is the Red Cross, an organization that is made up of 90% volunteers and of which SERVPRO is a proud national sponsor.  In order to get an idea of what these volunteers which are comprised of our friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers have responded to this year lets recap our storm season.

The 2017 Atlantic storm season was especially deadly and destructive this past year.  The hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th because this is historically the period of the year that most tropical cyclones form.  Here are just a few facts about our 2017 hurricane season.

  • The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season featured 17 named storms.
  • It is the 5th most active season since records began in 1851.
  • All 10 of the active hurricanes this season occurred in a row. This has only happened once before since records began.
  • It was the costliest season on record with over $281 billion dollars in damages and most of the damage was due to 3 of the hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
  • This is season one of only 6 seasons that had multiple category 5 hurricanes.
  • The 2017 season is the only season on record to have 3 hurricanes that had an accumulated cyclone energy score over 40 – Irma, Jose, and Maria.

The 2017/2018 winter storm season has been equally devastating, creating storm scenarios all over the country.  Although, we are still not out of the official storm season, this is what we have seen so far.

  • The month of November began with the highest snow extent in over 15 years, covering over 1/4 of the United States.
  • An early December winter storm affected areas from the deep-south from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to New England. This meant many areas such as Florida who rarely see snow were affected by extreme cold, ice, snowfall.
  • This December storm system left up to 400,000 people without power, closed schools and roads and left 3 people dead.
  • A post-Christmas early January cold wave left us with cities in Minnesota and Indiana having record breaking cold temperatures.
  • Times Square recorded the second coldest temperature on New Year’s Eve during festivities on record.
  • A severe blizzard swept across the country early January. This bomb cyclone dumped snow, freezing rain and caused coastal flooding which is attributed to at least 22 fatalities and cancelled 4,020 flights across the U.S.
  • Mid-January sent 2 more winter storms causing freezing temperatures, freezing pipes, and snow throughout the country. The city of Galveston had hundreds of pipes freeze and burst which depleted their water reserves to drought levels and bridges in Florida had to be closed due to ice after the 3 time of receiving snowfall this winter season.

These are just a few facts about our storm seasons this year, and they make us feel grateful for not only our self-less storm team members, but also our partners at the Red Cross who make up an amazing network of volunteers across the country. 

Are you prepared for the "Storm" if Phil sees his shadow?

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for the "Storm" if Phil sees his shadow? Phil is watching the radar... are you?

Everyone is watching and waiting to see the groundhog's prediction for 6 more weeks of winter.  The winter storm season has already wreaked havoc on many parts of the United States slowing businesses, schools, and lives in the process. 

"Did you know that winter storms are the third largest cause of catastrophic losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes?"

Can we handle another 6 weeks of winter storms?  The answer is yes, with SERVPRO's storm team in action 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you can.  SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the world and we take pride in having the largest support network and the most expertise in combating any storm, winter, spring, summer and fall.

So remember while Phil is hiding in his den scared of his own shadow, our technicians are braving the elements to be "Faster to any size disaster."

What is one thing that sets SERVPRO above the rest? STORM Team!

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What is one thing that sets SERVPRO above the rest?  STORM Team! Winter storm Jaxson is just the newest winter storm of the season, and one of the many reasons our STORM team is ready at a moment's notice.

There are many restoration companies out there that offer many of the same services as SERVPRO of Alachua County West.  It can make it hard for a homeowner going through the throes of a disaster to make an educated decision on who to choose and why.  There are many factors that make SERVPRO the best choice, such as our state of the art Drying program designed and operated specifically by only SERVPRO franchises, or our products which are formulated specifically by and for SERVPRO, but our storm team may be one of the biggest reasons to call SERVPRO.

SERVPRO storm teams travel all over the United States to areas with a large disaster such as floods, hurricanes, blizzards, fires, and ice storms.  This has enabled our customers to have a veritable network of disaster restoration technicians at their fingertips with the large amounts of equipment needed to begin the restoration process while smaller companies are overwhelmed by the volume of restoration needed.  It also means that our technicians and production employees have knowledge way beyond a company that services one area who may see disaster infrequently and only certain types of disasters.  This knowledge is also used and compiled in training mandatory to all SERVPRO franchises.  During winter storm Grayson when Floridians actually saw snow and ice in parts of Florida, our technicians were well versed in dealing with the aftermath of freezing temperatures due to having assisted other SERVPRO franchises in other states during winter storm disasters.

Our STORM team is just one of the many reasons that SERVPRO is “Faster to any size disaster.”

Are you prepared for Winter Storm Grayson?

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for Winter Storm Grayson? Satellite imagery of expected areas to be impacted by damaging ice from rain, snow, and freezing temperatures.

As Floridians are deep within the grasps of winter storm Grayson, it is never too late to think of winter storm safety for your family and your home.  Most people think of sub-tropical climates and sunshine here in the sunshine state, but Florida does have a past of winter cold and precipitation.

Florida Cold Weather Facts:

*The coldest temperature recorded in Florida was –2°F in Tallahassee on February 13, 1899. At the same time, snow up to three Inches deep was reported by several cities in the Panhandle.

*Snow has been reported numerous times throughout the state. On January 19, 1977, snow fell on Miami, Florida and was seen in Homestead, Florida (which is 22 miles south of Miami).

*The deepest snowfall ever measured in Florida (four inches), occurred in Milton on March 6, 1954.

The State of Florida Emergency Management office as well as the National Weather Service urges all Floridians to practice The 5 P's of Cold Weather Safety:

1.)Protect People - Dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly who are most sensitive to cold weather.

2.)Protect Pets - If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.

3.)Protect Plants - Cover cold-sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.

4.)Protect Pipes - Cover exposed outdoor pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.

5.)Practice Fire Safety - Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.

Lastly, don't forget to have SERVPRO of Alachua County West's phone number ready in case your preparedness still leaves your home in need of emergency services from broken pipes, water damage, or fire.

Are you prepared for winter weather?

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared for winter weather? As your frozen pipes thaw, they crack and break leaving you with a disaster.

Many people who do not live in the Sunshine State have no idea that it can get cold, and even have freezing conditions here in Florida.  Due to our sub-tropic climate and mobile housing, proper precautions are often not taken when installing and weather proofing plumbing in and under our homes.  When we have freezing temperature and rains our plumbing is often exposed and can freeze overnight without a heat source or keeping water running through-out our pipes.  Although frozen pipes can be a hassle when you are tying to make that pot of coffee, or take that morning shower, but the real damage begins as the Florida sun comes out and the frozen water begins to thaw and expand within causing them to burst, and causing water damage to your home.  Be prepared for colder weather by weatherproofing your exposed pipes, placing a heat lamp at your well, or by leaving a faucet running as temperatures drop.  If these measures fail, make sure that you have SERVPRO of Alachua County West's number handy to quickly begin to mitigate any damage that occurs!