The “bomb cyclone” that swept through in March has caused more than $1 billion of flood damage in Nebraska. Heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt caused catastrophic flooding across the Missouri River Basin; three-fourths of Nebraska’s 93 counties have declared an emergency. Cattle and crop losses will be the worst in history. About 20 percent of the state road system have been closed at some point in March.
Gov. Pete Ricketts urged homeowners to document the losses to support future claims with Federal Emergency Management Agency. An estimated 2,000 homes and 340 businesses were damaged or destroyed by the flood, at a cost of $85 million.
If the water damage was serious enough for you to have to evacuate your home, be sure you and your family remain safe upon your return. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises that you should check for the following things before reoccupying your home:
Once you do return home, it’s always a good idea to turn off all water and electrical sources within the home. Even if you discover that the power isn’t operational, head to your fuse box and turn off the main and all individual fuses. This way, you won’t run the risk of the power coming back on while you are in a wet house. If you suspect severe damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines, immediately contact your utility company.
Clean water from a broken pipe is a hassle: flood water is gross! After the flooding has subsided, it is important to clean up rapidly to avoid the occurrence of waterborne diseases. As you clean up pure, potable water, use safety gear: good quality gloves, rubber boots, eyewear, protective clothes, face masks or respirators.
Waste is the major problem when floods occur; diseases like Shigellosis, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Leptospirosis, Typhoid Fever, Malaria, and Dengue fever are spread by contaminated water. Make sure not to come in contact with the toxic waste. Wait for the authorities or water restoration team like Yellow Van to arrive and take all the necessary precautions.
When water sits more than 24-48 hours, mold can begin to take hold. Mold growth not only ruins walls, furniture, carpets, flooring, etc., but it can also lead to poor indoor air quality causing respiratory problems including asthma and can lead to severe illness. A commercial HEPA vacuum cleaner should be used whenever vacuuming. Be aware that the removal of moldy material installed before 1985 may disturb latent asbestos– particularly if carpet or plaster is involved.
If you are advised to leave your water damaged home due to repairs or safety reasons, remember to secure your home. Protect your property and prevent any additional damage or people looking to take advantage of these unfortunate events. Putting boards over broken windows and tarping a leaking roof will reduce the risk of more damage. Once again, remember to document everything you do and report your actions to any insurance.yello.
Dispose of damaged items responsibly. You will be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster: out of sight, out of mind. But organizing damaged goods into piles of salvageable items, certain trash, and recyclables you will help alleviate the pressure local landfill sites.
Make plans for proper disposal. Small electronics, household appliances including refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning units, washers, and dryers are filled with valuable metals. However, many of these items also contain dangerous materials, such as Freon and ozone-depleting chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons or hydrochlorofluorocarbons. Therefore, contact your local sanitation department to request a hazardous waste collection or arrange for a pick-up to the designated site. Usually, extra large objects require a special pick up schedule: couch, refrigerator, water heater, washer/dryer, mattress/box springs.
Or plan the transportation needed to get your ruined materials to the local landfill. (Do not hire a random guy with a truck to haul your trash; insist on a receipt from the country landfill to prove that your waste was properly disposed of. )
Managing water damage on your own can be overwhelming. This Since 1981, Yellow Van Cleaning and Restoration technicians have provided environmental services that get people back into clean, healthy homes. If you have suffered from this flood, or any other water emergency, call Yellow Van Cleaning & Restoration In Grand Island for water damage restoration services.