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Plumbers warn homeowners of flooded basements

Clean up is starting to begin for residents who live close to the Fox River in Burlington, but for those who have flooded basements, local plumbers are saying you may want to wait a little bit longer before removing that water.

Steve Solofra, owner of Solofra Pumping and Heating has been working around the clock since early Wednesday morning as storms brought record breaking floods to southeastern Wisconsin.

Solofra was using gas generators since there is no electricity in Burlington to pump water out of two homes less than a block from the Fox River.

“Right now we’re just trying not to cause more damage," Solofra explained.

Solofra showed CBS 58 the damage one basement encountered.

It was clear that at one point water covered everything from the furnace to the water heater, and even the electrical box. But Solofra said that’s not the biggest concern.

"I would tell most people, don’t get excited about emptying it as soon as possible. Because you can then start cracking your foundation walls from the pressure on the outside and it could cave the basement wall in," Solofra explained.

To reduce the risk of collapsing foundations, Solofra is only moving about a foot of water at a time.

He says they’ll continue to do that as flood waters along the river go down as well.   

But he says his best advice to residents with flooded basements, just be patient. The damage the water has done, has been done.

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