Experts Offer Safety Recommendations on Flood Water in Wake of East Coast Storms


floodingThe recent storm conditions stemming from nearby hurricane activity on the eastern seaboard have already caused their fair share of damage. The first immediate impact is only part of the problem.

With the exception of having a home leveled, some of the most serious issues can result from the standing water leftover from flooding. In fact, so much flooding has occurred that the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) issued a warning and some recommendations last weekend concerning the potential perils of flood water, according to the Richmond, VA, CBS affiliate

Raw sewage, chemicals, and toxins are all prevalent in flood waters and can cause serious damage if you’re left exposed it it. Sanitized, unopened cans of food are still fine to eat, but the RAHD says it’s best to throw away any food that may have been exposed to the water even if it has a snap or screw-on lid.

There are many physical dangers as well when it comes to flood water, like fallen electrical and power lines can cause electrocution. Of course, there’s also the possibility of water snakes and other dangerous insects and creatures showing up in these kinds of conditions.

Perhaps one of the most underrated aspects of flood waters is the one local residents can’t see or feel immediately. Flooding in homes can have two major consequences: structural damage and mold. Prolonged exposure to water can weaken the foundation of some houses, which may eventually result in a collapse. Homeowners may also require mold removal services to prevent serious health risks.

“After a disaster such as flooding occurs, the immediate thought process is protecting personal belongings,” says Brian Thurston, Production Manager, Pro-Clean Services. “But once the storm has passed, the next priority is protecting the home. The first step in a water and/or flood damage occurrence should be contacting a water damage restoration company to begin water mitigation as soon as possible. Wet walls, floors and duct work will support mold development in a matter of days. If left unattended, mold can become widespread and cause serious health problems to young children, senior citizens and allergy prone adults. Contacting a water damage restoration specialist to begin water mitigation immediately will preserve materials and greatly reduce mold development. They can also perform mold remediation services before mold becomes a serious issue.”

Wet and damp materials need to be removed or dried and cleaned as soon as possible to prevent mold from growing. Experts in the field agree with the RAHD’s assessment.

Certified Environmental Hygienist Phillip Fry also issued a press release highlighting the potential effects flooding can have on dangerous mold growth.

Due to the difficulty in effectively removing it and the fact many people are allergic, it’s recommended that homeowners hire professional mold removal services if they believe there is growth in their home or workplace.

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