NewsLocal News


Flooding can cause health problems

Posted at 8:36 AM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 11:17:56-05

Just because the flood water might be gone in your home, some health concerns might still be there. 
FOX 47's Alani Letang caught up InghamCounty Health Officer Linda Vail who warns you of some health concerns when your home has been flooded.

"Dry to the touch is not sometimes completely dry. Dry to the touch and yet you've got cushions, so you've got cushions so there's some depth to it. So is it dry all the way through? or is it just dry all the way to the surface," said Linda Vail.

It's something everyone whose home is flooded will have to deal with -- mold.
Shirley Davis of Lansing evacuated her home and is wondering what she'll find after she's done staying at a Red Cross shelter.

"It's a little scary we're not quite sure what to do.Our whole road is completely underwater, part of our driveway is and it's coming up into the basement" said Shirley Davis.

Vail said there are some things you need to keep in mind when drying your home. Not inhaling mold is at the top of the list.

"Being careful when you're in the process of doing that in terms of inhaling all of that, is a significant concern" said Vail.

There's another potential problem for people on well water, especially if the flooding rises above the well cap.

Vail said, "so it's not uncommon in flooding situations to have infectious disease issues. A well could, for instance, could get contaminated with bacteria, those sorts of things."

There are some options to help you treat your well.

"Chlorine and things like that can help clean the well back out and help establish the cleanness of the water again" suggested Vail.

And worst case scenario, Vail said, is having to drill a new hole "Then sometimes the solution is to get your well drilled a little deeper in order to get back down in the aquifer and the cleaner water."

Another concern to look out for is water around electric lines and systems.  As well as the water around propane tanks and natural gas. Be careful around those areas and not to touch them.  You should always call someone and never try and do it yourself.