Second wave of Michiana responders to East Coast
Posted: Aug 29, 2011 10:20 PM EST | Updated: Nov 6, 2014 6:49 AM EST
A group of green vans and trailers were getting filled in Benton Harbor Monday afternoon. They're headed for the East Coast.
Kris Popp is leading this crew. "They truly need our help at this point in time to restore their lives," Popp says. He owns ServPro of Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph County in Michigan.
He and his 25 employees aren't what you think of as disaster first responders. ServPro is a home restoration company. "We go into homes after water damage, extract water, put in drying equipment and dry out the structures for them," says Popp.
Days after the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene they are heading out. One third of Popp's employees are leaving for Wollwich NJ, Tuesday morning. "Right now (in Wollwich there are) roughly 5000 calls for service and the water is still receding," says Popp. Along the East Coast more than 100-thousand homes have flooding issues.
The crew in Southwest Michigan is one of thousands of ServPro branches across the country heading for the coast. They'll be pumping water out of people's homes from from North Carolina to Maine. "You'll find eight-feet of water in people's basements and four-foot-high in the main level of the house. Its devastating for these people," says Popp.
It's the ninth time Popp has led a crew out-of-state for a disaster. All eight men are planning to stay for a month is they need to. "This is what we do," he says. Going where there's a need is just part of the job.