Storms, floods bring health dangers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Storms, floods bring health dangers

July 20, 2005

Sylvester- When flood waters take over homes, it leaves behind more than just a mess when it's gone.

"Once that moisture stays there for very long, then the mold and the mildew start to build up," said Harold Smith, site manager for the Red Cross group working in Sylvester.

So flooded homes have to cleaned. If walls stay too wet, people will have to look at options other than cleaning.

"Completely dry it out and start over again, literally," Smith said.

If proper precautions aren't taken, then people, especially children who live in these homes, can get sick and suffer from congestion.

"Naturally can build up in the lungs and as a result, it can really spread into pneumonia, or even things even worse."

That's why organizations helping Sylvester flood victims are making sure people have cleaning supplies like bleach to keep mold and mildew from growing in their walls. The Department of Human Resources and the Red Cross is also warning people about mosquitoes, other insects and even snakes in recently flooded areas.

Also, after storms always be aware and stay away from downed power lines because the reality is, there is more rain on the way. We will see thunderstorms and maybe even more flooding before the hurricane season comes to an end.

"You might have things in the home that you wouldn't normally have in the way of bacteria," Smith said.

Bacteria that can make anyone returning to a flooded home dangerously sick.

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