FLOODING RAISES CONCERNS OVER RESIDENT WELLBEING, HEALTH RISKS
The constant flow of rain and thunderstorms have made quite the impact on the state of Alabama, and with residents being affected by the weather as each wet day passes, concerns for infrastructure and health are being pushed to the forefront.
Reporting by WVUA 23 Reporter Kayla Hamlett
Specifically for Eutaw residents, the rain has overflowed the Tombigbee River, causing major flooding. And it is expected to get worse as rain continues to sweep in.
Because of flooding, boats are the only way residents can get in and out of their neighborhoods. But homeowners in Hale County are experiencing different issues with floodwaters.
“You never want to travel over anything you can’t see, because you don’t know what’s there,” said Hale County Engineer Jason Sturdivant.
Picture a standard basketball goal from the ground up, which is 10 feet tall. Now, imagine how deep a 10-foot sinkhole is.
Friday, Greene County residents noticed the road leading out of their neighborhood had been completely washed away. That same road flooded last year, not even being completely repaved before washing away again.
“Of course, the rain came and the flood came, we didn’t get through so but we pretty much got everything destroyed that we had already done,” Sturdivant said. “We will get in here once the water goes down and hopefully within the next couple of days and at least get something temporary so people can travel to get to their homes.”
Moundville locals are being encouraged to take caution by the county engineer until the water is cleared out. The forecast is predicting a five-day chance of rain in the upcoming days.
Reporting by WVUA 23 Reporter Mackenzie Koch
With the rain damaging locals’ homes, often the first priority is fixing the damage and returning to normalcy as quickly as possible. But, we may not realize there could be mold growing in those newly-cleaned homes.
The Alabama Department of Public Health offers tips on how to avoid indoor air quality problems after being faced with natural destruction.
Flooding creates an opportunity for mold to grow. To protect against health risks, the health department suggests removing any standing water from the home. If an area has been affected by flood waters, experts say it is important to dry it out immediately.
Wet materials such as carpets, insulation, wallboards, pillows and mattresses should be removed. If mold growth has already occurred, carefully remove the affected area as soon as possible, but do it safely.
“If individuals are trying to do this cleaning themselves, (use) personal protection even though there are no regulations or standards for mold,” Steven McDaniel, the director of Indoor Air Quality and Lead Certification at ADPH, said. “The health department still considers inhaling or ingesting mold a health risk so you need to make sure you’re wearing personal protective equipment.
Below are some quick tips recommended by APDH:
- Take breaks while cleaning in well-ventilated areas
- Remove any musty, earthy smells from the building
- Make sure not to mix bleach with anything but water, as this could cause a chemical reaction.
- If you use a professional cleaning service, they should be certified by the Institute of Inspecting, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.