Floods are a boon for carpet businesses

It's been a headache for homeowners, but dealing with the aftermath of last weekend's flooding has been an economic stimulus of sorts for the carpet business.

Carpet cleaners have been swamped with calls from home owners whose rugs are soaked. Terry Lanham, owner of Terry's Carpet Care in Nicholasville, said he hired a couple of extra workers to handle the onslaught.

"It's been people I've never seen before and, of course, my regulars," Lanham said.

He estimated that business is up 20 percent, and he said he's still fielding a high number of calls.

Darryl Geis, owner and manager of Jack and Jan's Carpets and Flooring in Lexington, said customers usually start pouring in two to three weeks after flooding.

"They have to get all the wet stuff out and let it dry," he said. "Usually they get rid of it if it's wet."

He said customer traffic is up about 5 percent in the past week, and "within two to three weeks, it'll be really busy."

Richard Durrum, a salesman at Carpet One Floor and Home in Lexington, said he's expecting the same kind of rush.

"It will probably break loose next week," he said.

He said some of the delay comes from people working with their insurance companies to make claims. The retailer has an insurance division that takes care of claims from State Farm and Allstate, and that is expected to pick up, he said.

Meanwhile, teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were due in Kentucky on Thursday to assess damage from the floods. If Kentucky is declared a disaster area, individual assistance might become available for homeowners and renters.

According to FEMA's Web site, that assistance typically can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs.