NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The issue many are having almost a week after the remnants of Hurricane Ida hammered the Tri-State Area is they cannot reach contractors or remediation companies.
Pat Leuschner of Staten Island hasn't been able to go home for days. His basement was under water, including a fridge, washing machine, and water heater.
"I'm afraid of the mold," the Westerleigh resident told CBS2's Lisa Rozner on Monday. "It's getting hotter and it's going to agitate."
Ida left all his drenched mementos and items strewn about and so far no remediation professionals have been able to come out.
"The people I know already turned around. They said they're swamped with they're all doing emergencies right now," Leuschner said.
Steve Guzowski took a video Wednesday night of the river in his Westerleigh basement. He and his wife ripped out the walls and flooring, themselves.
Fans and dehumidifiers are running 24-7, but they need more.
"I did go everywhere to try and buy another one. All sold out," Guzowski said.
One plumber told CBS2 people are calling for him to assess water heaters, but he can't until everything around it is dry.
"If the burner assembly goes under water, it's impossible. Like 99% of the time it's just shot. Sometimes you get lucky," said Mario Chamone, owner of Pipe Masters.
The American Red Cross said homeowners waiting for professional help can bring all soft items outside if possible, including sofas, clothing, bedding, and rugs, and they should throw out items that absorbed water that cannot be cleaned, like mattresses, carpeting, and stuffed animals.
Another recommendation is to open all doors and windows to exchange moist indoor air for drier outdoor air, and clean hard surfaces thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent, and then disinfect with bleach.
The Red Cross is also giving out cleaning supply kits that include trash bags, sponges and bleach. They are available at service centers throughout the city. For more information, please click here.
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