'Extremely busy': Billings restoration companies hard at work following flooding
By Kelsey Merison,2023-06-06
Floods are often followed by a long cleanup. In Yellowstone County, the work is just getting started.
“We are extremely busy. We are doing everything we can to help as many people as we can," said Jordan Kroll, a project manager at Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, on Tuesday. "I think at the moment I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 active dry-outs. We have a waiting list of over 150 people.”
One of its biggest jobs is at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR), a nonprofit that houses and works with struggling youth.
“It always makes us nervous. The creek got pretty high. We had to close down the bridge across there, so it disrupted some things," said Mike Chavers, the CEO of YBGR, on Tuesday. “For the most part, it was just our medical clinic and a couple of basements."
On Tuesday, crews from Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration scattered the west Billings property to jump on repairs they started last week.
“Alpha Omega responded right away," Chavers said. "They got out here right away and very quickly kind of contained things and helped us manage things through the weekend so we didn’t have more damage."
Kroll explained the company was able to respond quickly and get a head start on the work.
“We were actually able to get in here and get extracting before the water had even receded. Which, the benefit was, it kept it from spreading as far as it could have," Kroll said. "The downside is, later that night it re-flooded and we had to come back and readdress the same areas. But, you know, that’s mitigation."
According to Kroll, this is just one of many projects the company is currently working on.
"We’ve been running crews all through the weekend and we’ll probably run them through next weekend as well. Just trying to help everyone we can,” Kroll said.
Kroll offered a few other tips for those who weren't as lucky and are still waiting to be assessed.
“What homeowners can do, if there is active mold growth, you don’t want to put air on it. Beyond that, you do want to open up your windows, let it breathe. I would call every company in town and get on as many waiting lists as possible,” Kroll said. “It is a time-sensitive issue, and the sooner someone gets to it, the better."
Which means bad news for those low on the waiting list.
"Here in about a month, everyone on that list will have went from a freshwater loss to a mold job," Kroll said. "So that’s unfortunate because that expands the scope of work, there’s way more demo that has to take place on a mold job."
Something the ranch is thankful to avoid.
"Thankfully the kids were all safe, operations were able to continue as normal, just some discomfort for a bit of time," Chavers said. "We’re grateful for our partners in the community such as Alpha Omega."