The Dangers of Flooding

dangers of flooding
A home damaged by Hurricane Harvey remains surrounded by flood waters, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

What is currently happening in Texas is nothing short of catastrophic and heartbreaking. At least 20 people have already lost their lives in the storm and subsequent flooding, and countless people who have been evacuated to shelters are left wondering if their homes and other belongings will even be there when they return. Adding insult to injury, though the storms will pass and the flood waters will recede, the dangers of flooding will not quickly diminish. According to The Washington Post, they will linger for quite some time.

Short Term Dangers of Flooding

Short term dangers of flooding include, of course, drowning and flood water injuries caused by debris and wild animals, such as snakes, being present in the water. Infectious disease is also a major concern as flood waters overflow sewage systems, exhume corpses, and run through and over all kinds of terrain, picking up illnesses such as tetanus, MRSA, and E. coli. Power outages, access to medication, mental illness, and insect infestation are all included as short term and, in some cases, serious long term dangers of flooding.

Long Term Dangers of Flooding

Although not the only long term danger, one of the most significant long term dangers of flooding is mold. Behavioral scientist Mary Hayden, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who assessed damage in Galveston after Hurricane Ike, said flood evacuees may not realize they could spend two or three weeks away from home. In a waterlogged, overheated home, mold can run rampant in that time.

The Washington Post reported that two months after Hurricane Katrina, CDC investigators found mold in the walls of half of 112 water-damaged homes. The worst symptoms from routine mold exposure — some amount of mold is in the air we breathe every day — are typically allergic reactions and are rarely fatal but can exacerbate other health problems. Post-Katrina mold, however, was implicated in the deaths of four Southern University at New Orleans professors — all of whom worked in the same storm-damaged building. All died within a few months of one another.

The economic impact of mold and water damage also can be severe. “That’s a whole consequence that people really don’t consider,” Hayden said. “It’s devastating on all levels.”

Here to Help

All of us at Joe Taylor Restoration are extremely saddened by the events taking place in Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We hope that a disaster of this magnitude never strikes Florida. However, if it does, we are ready. And if it doesn’t we are still here to help with both major and minor flood damage to your property. If you find yourself dealing with mold after flood or water damage, contact us right away. We will get rid of the fungal intruder. And we will also prevent additional damage to building materials, while protecting the health of all those involved, putting your mind at ease as best we can.