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DPS: Lingering floodwaters could cause health issues

Posted October 12, 2016

The devastating flooding dumped on North Carolina by Hurricane Matthew destroyed roads and houses, businesses and trees, but the lingering water could have serious impacts on health.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety said that people who were affected by the flooding should be cautious as they return to their homes and businesses because floodwater can contain sewage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released tips about how to best protect yourself as you move back in:

Inside the home

-Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup is finished

-Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles when cleaning up

-Discard things that cannot be disinfected, such as mattress, carpeting, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals

-Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers

-Wash hands with soap and warm water that has been boiled for 1 minute; or use water that has been disinfected with household bleach at a ratio of half a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water (let the solution stand for 30 minutes before using)

-Wash contaminated clothes with detergent and hot water; it's recommended you use a laundromat if you have to wash large quantities of clothes until your water system has been inspected and serviced

Outside the home

-Have your onsite water system professionally inspected and serviced if it has been damaged

-Do not drink well water until you know it is safe; use bottled or treated water until then

-Get damaged septic systems professionally inspected and repaired

-Do not pump out septic systems past halfway, or they might float out of the ground


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