Rita Deskins retired just weeks ago, but rather than spending the start of her retirement riding her bike through Franklin or relaxing, she’s spending it dealing with insurance companies and cleaning up dust from drywall.
She and her husband, Doug Deskins, were one of several Johnson County residents who were affected by flooding earlier this month.
“All the work is hard, trying to get everything out of the basement to save it is an incredible amount of work,” Deskins said. “Every day I’m having to clean up some of the drywall dust.”
County officials are still working to assess damage residents suffered after the flooding on July 11 that was caused by heavy downpours. So far, seven homeowners from all over Johnson County have reported damage to the county emergency management office, which is still hoping to hear from more residents about their damage.
A large majority of the homeowners suffered damage to their basements, which was exactly where Rita and Doug Deskins’ home took in water — again.
In the midst of the storm, Deskins left her home for about 15 minutes before receiving a call from her husband.
“The water is coming in,” he told her. “Water is coming out of the sump pump.”
Deskins rushed home, but called the Franklin Fire Department on her way. Her husband recently had back surgery, so he isn’t able to lift heavy objects. She hoped the fire department would be able to help them save some of their items from their basement, which was quickly filling with water.
“They were there when I got there and they were so nice and helped us move the giant rug from our walkout basement,” Deskins said. “They would have done anything we would have asked and were very concerned about us.”
Although the Deskins were able to get some of their items out of the basement, which eventually had 5 inches of standing water, the drywall, trim, doors and more were damaged. The insurance adjuster came out within days of the flood and said the basement had about $27,000 in damage. During the 2008 flood, the damage was about $46,000.
Like other Johnson County residents, the flood of 2008 made the Deskins more prepared. This time, they had flood insurance, which allowed repairs to start a week after the flood.
“We are pleased we are able to get things back to normal,” Deskins said. “Thankfully we have space upstairs, so we are managing that way, but we can’t wait for everything to be fixed.”
Deskins is thankful for the help from the fire department and the insurance company, but she is frustrated she has had to deal with a flood twice in less than 10 years.
“I thought with all the effort the city had worked on over the last eight years I would have some assurance knowing they were going to fix the problem,” Deskins said. “But why does this continue to happen? Why wasn’t this fixed after the last flood?”
Deskins has hope this flood will lead to fixing more of the city’s drainage issues.
“Franklin has so much to offer,” Deskins said. “We love Franklin, but we don’t want to have to deal with another flood.”