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Flooding
90% of all federal disaster declarations are for flood events. Did you know that floods are the #1 weather related killer in the United States? Most deaths are due to flash floods. Most flooding in our area is due to rapid snow melt, slow moving thunder storms, or thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area.

Flood Preparations
Flooding in Marinette County is typically a "slow moving event". This means that you have some advance warning and can make some preparations to mitigate damage. Keep a supply of sandbags on-hand, especially if your home is located near a stream or river. It is not uncommon for ditches to overfill due to ice and debris blocking culverts. Click on "Forms & Documents" to the right for information on how to fill and place sandbags to create a dyke to divert water away from your home.

Flood Safety
Here are valuable safety tips:

^ LISTEN to your NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about the latest watches, warnings, and advisories.
^ NEVER let children play around high water, storm drains, or viaducts.
^ DO NOT WALK through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
^ AVOID flood prone areas. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
^ NEVER drive through a flooded roadway - you don't know what is under the water.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
Flood Clean-Up Tips

Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. Some canned foods may be salvageable. If the cans are dented or damaged, throw them away. Food contaminated by flood waters can cause severe infections.

If water is of questionable purity, boil or add bleach, and distill drinking water before using. Wells inundated by flood waters should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking. If in doubt, call your local public health authority. Ill health effects often occur when people drink water contaminated with bacteria and germs.

Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.

Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.

Remove Standing Water. Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and be inhaled. Where floodwater contains sewage or decaying animal carcasses, infectious disease is of concern. Even when flooding is due to rain water, the growth of microorganisms can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. For these health reasons, and to lessen structural damage, all standing water should be removed as quickly as possible.

Remove Wet Materials within 24-48 hours. It can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items that were soaked by water may be unhealthy. Some materials tend to absorb and keep water more than others. In general, materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded, as they can remain a source of microbial growth. Be patient. The drying out process could take several weeks, and growth of microorganisms will continue as long as humidity is high. If the house is not dried out properly, a musty odor, signifying growth of microorganisms, can remain long after the flood. . For information on mold prevention and cleanup, visit www.epa.gov/mold/index.html  or call EPA Indoor Air Quality at (202) 343-9370 or Fax: (202) 343-2394 or (202) 343-2392

Be careful Using Cleaners and Disinfectants. The cleanup process involves thorough washing and disinfecting of the walls, floors, closets, shelves, and contents of the house. In most cases, common household cleaning products and disinfectants are used for this task. FEMA also suggests the use of disinfectants and sanitizers on the duct work for the heating and air conditioning system if it has been flooded. Disinfectants and sanitizers contain toxic substances. Be carefull about mixing cleaners and disinfectants together. Check labels for cautions on this. Mixing certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury and even death.

This is a brief list of things to do. For more complete information go to the links below.


FEMA Website for More Flood Information »

WI Flood Events Map
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