NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The cleanup from Henri is expected to days.

Homes in parts of New Jersey that usually stay dry were flooded, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported Monday.

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“When I came down this morning, this was way past my ankles. I had to roll my pants up,” said Karen Tattoli from North Arlington.

Tattoli’s home is on a hill. Usually, flooding isn’t a major concern. She and her family thought they were prepared just in case.

But their preparations weren’t enough when Henri rolled through.

“I’ve never seen this before. With all the rain that came, we’ve never had anything like that, and with the rain and no sump pump, it just couldn’t handle it,” she said.

Tattoli had boxes piled up on top of each other that came crashing down, paint cans were floating around and family photos were among the items left soaked.

“Ornaments, my Christmas tree, a guitar was floating,” Tattoli said.

As water continues to get pumped out of their basement, work to restore everything back to normal will take some time.

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Tattoli called SERVPRO for help. They offer cleanup and restoration service. Kevin Rogers said she did the right thing by reaching out.

“Definitely don’t wait. One thing that a lot of people do, they wait until the morning. You want to call right away,” Rogers said.

He said whether it’s his team or another company, it’s not a do-it-yourself kind of job.

“Putting a towel down is not enough. It’s a bit more than that. When you’re dealing with this type of water quality, it carries a lot more microbial growth,” Rogers said.

Other aspects people don’t often consider are the dangers of going into a flooded basement.

“A lot of people forget that they have their gaming system in the basement, electric lines. So, just make sure there’s no live wires in the water before you step down in the basement to check what happened,” said Rogers.

He said cleaning up after a flood requires a professional. A lot can go wrong. Missing a spot here or there can lead to mold and much bigger issues down the line.

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CBS2’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team