“They were there overnight. It was pretty cold. The water kept on rising and rising. I knew their best protection from flooding would be the parking garage.”
He said three Russian women also had taken shelter in the parking garage.
“The mayor pleaded for evacuation, but many people ignored it,” Indahl said.
Sitting in Indiana listening to WCBS am 880 around-the-clock news, Indahl said, he listened through the night. Fortunately, he said there were no problems with cellular phone service in Sheepshead Bay, so he was able to maintain contact with Sarah, Brian and Annelli.
“It was excellent,” Indahl said. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without the cell phones. I would’ve been frightened to death.”
Ultimately, 5 feet of water swept into the house, decimating everything on the main floor.
“Everything in the house got destroyed,” Indahl said. “It even flipped the piano over. The salt water damage is very bad. The lower story got wiped out.”
He said there could be $150,000 to $175,000 or more damage based on a contractor estimate. Indahl said the exterior damage isn’t very obvious, but the foundation shifted a little and there was quite a bit of interior structural damage on the downstairs level.
“The next-door neighbor owns the marina,” he continued. “He had two tanks mounted outside the house - one for diesel oil and one for diesel fuel - and a tree came down on them. They broke loose and ruptured and contaminated the whole area. That’s one reason the damage is so high. It’s all a toxic mess.
“Very few things were salvageable. I spent five days there cleaning up. One company came out voluntarily and drained the oil tank (that fueled Indahl’s house). Concerned friends came to help us out for many days. The job was enormous.”