Portage Co. offers flood clean-up guidance

PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) — Portage County is offering guidance to residents impacted by recent flooding and high water.

Flood water can contain bacteria or other hazardous substances, so experts say if you are experiencing headaches, upset stomach, or flu-like symptoms, to immediately seek medical attention.

Experts also offering the following tips for during and after a flood:

  • Do not drive through flood waters. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a car. When you
    encounter flood water, turn around, don’t drown.
  • Stay out of flood waters. Flood water can contain bacteria, sewage, sharp objects, and other dangerous
    items.
  • Drain basements slowly. Basements containing standing water should be emptied gradually – no more
    than 2-3 inches per day. If a basement is drained too quickly, the water pressure outside the walls will be
    greater than the water pressure inside, which may cause the basement floor and walls to crack and
    collapse.
  • Shut off electrical power if you suspect damage to your home. Even if the damage isn’t easily seen, shut
    off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions. Get out of
    the home if a gas leak is suspected. Report suspected damage to your utility provider.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns to light homes rather than candles. Candles could trigger an explosion if
    there is an undetectable gas leak.
  • Use generators at least 20 feet from your home. Generators create carbon monoxide. In enclosed
    spaces, the carbon monoxide can build up and cause sickness or death.
  • Throw out food if you can’t be sure it’s safe. Throw out any refrigerated food if your power was out for
    four hours or more. If frozen foods still have ice crystals, they can be refrozen. Any food that was touched
    by floodwaters— even canned food— should be thrown out.
  • Look out for mold. Follow the recommended steps for cleaning mold growth.
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