The power of water is amazing. The devastation that flood waters cause is unimaginable. East Texans are unfortunately living through this unimaginable experience right now. Entire neighborhoods in Kilgore, Henderson and Longview were submerged by flood waters Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Now that most of the flood water has receded, it's time for cleanup.

Flood clean up can be a very costly expense for homeowners, according to the Town Contractors website, a 1500 sq. ft. home or facility could cost as much as $28,000 to clean up. Our Stewart Smith called and spoke to a representative from Knight Restoration in Tyler.

“One of the biggest issues you run into in a time like this when there is such widespread flooding, is that there is a response time to getting it taken care of. If I were in that situation I would want to get someone out there immediately. But it’s often impossible to get people out there within that first hour,” said Paul Hawkins, director of sales for Knight Restoration.

Hawkins said a reasonable response time during rain and flooding like what was experienced this week would be between three and eight hours.

In terms of cost, Hawkins said if a house is fully affected it could reasonably cost between $10,000-$15,000 just for water removal alone. Costs can easily triple once things such as repairs and replacement costs are factored in. Additionally, he said residents should know that anything within a house affected by “Category 3 water,” which is water that’s been highly contaminated, will require full and total removal. In other words, if the flood water becomes contaminated by, say, a septic tank, anything in the house affected by that water (be it carpet, cabinets, flooring, furniture, etc.) must be removed.

Before contracting anyone to do clean up at your home, do research on the company you are getting bids from. We see this many times after a natural disaster and hear about it too often, the person affected by the natural disaster gets taken advantage of by a contractor. Often the homeowner gets taken advance of and is out a lot of money and sometimes is left with a bigger headache to deal with than what they started with. If you do go with a contractor for clean up, just do your research. Also, you might want to check with them on the payment process. I personally would make a down payment toward the clean up and give the company a final payment once the clean up was completed to my satisfaction.