Potential health dangers with flood water - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Potential health dangers with flood water

September 17, 2002

Seminole County - People in Donalsonville are dealing with the same problems many people in Albany dealt with back in 1994. Water from Sunday's flash flood is still standing in some places, but that's not stopping many people from wading through it to get to their homes. And that's where potential danger lies.

The Harris family has to start from scratch. Al Harris says, "The back yard is still flooded." Two and a half feet of flood water ruined every room in their Seminole County home. Mr. Harris explains, "Today we've been getting everything out to let the house dry out. We still have to get to the bedrooms. We lost about everything except for our clothes."

Mr. Harris says his drinking well was submerged in water, he won't take any chances. He says, "The Health Department is suppose to check the wells. As far as looking at it you can't tell."

Flood water can be contaminated, making you very sick. Bobby Alday with the Seminole County Health Department says, "Right now, there's all kinds of molds and mildews, fuels and oils. A lot of different types of diseases causing organisms out there."

Wells should be clorinated, then the Health Department will test your water for free. Alday says, "Everything should be disinfected sanitized."

The Health Department is also giving free Tetanus shots. Nurse Manager, Dottie Brown, explains, "We're recommending anyone that has been directly involved in the flood, exposed to the flood water or working in the clean up. If they have not had a tetanus shot in last 5 years, come in and have a new tetnus shot."

In downtown Donalsonville, American Red Cross is giving out free cleanup kits and GEMA has a tanker to get free drinking water. For families like the Harris' anything free helps. 

Walls, floors, cabinets and furniture should be cleaned with soap and water and then with bleach.

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com