August 27, 2008
FLOODING COULD POSE PUBLIC HEALTH RISKS
Charlotte, NC- Mecklenburg County residents awoke to quite a mess today as the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay dropped heavy rain across the area, resulting in widespread flooding.
Many home and businesses have sustained major damage as, in some cases, several feet of water quickly spilled inside.
These heavy rains and flooding can present a number of dangers to your health and personal safety. The Mecklenburg County Health Department wants to give residents some useful information to help prevent injury and disease:
If your home or business is damaged by floodwater, any porous or absorbent materials such as carpets, mattresses, or furniture should be thrown away.
The longer you allow water to stand in your home, the higher the risk of health problems for bacteria or mold. Washing affected areas with a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water will help remove mold and mildew.
Floodwaters could cause sewage to back up into homes. Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup if this happens. Remove and discard any contaminated household goods such as rugs, cloth and drywall, or wall coverings that cannot be disinfected.
Floating garbage can cause serious health problems and is often overlooked by home owners. If you are at risk for flooding, ensure that all garbage and refuse is moved to higher ground or taken to a sanitary landfill.
Snakes and other wild animals may be looking for drier and higher ground in and around homes. Some of these animals could be infected with rabies, so avoid all contact with them. Animal bites, scratches or any other contact should be reported to the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-6440.
NEVER drive through floodwater. Water can be much deeper than it appears, and water levels can rise very quickly. If you are approaching a flooded roadway, turn around and take an alternate route. If your car stalls in floodwaters, get out immediately and move to higher ground.