Lewis & Clark County

Mar 10, 2014 9:12 PM by Melissa Anderson (melissa@kxlh.com)

Augusta hit by flooding

AUGUSTA -- While flood waters continue to recede in most parts of the state, concerns over flooding in the future continue.

People living in Augusta have experienced some of the worst flooding. The concerns now turn to safe drinking water and potholes.

More than a dozen homes were affected by flood waters last week.

"Some homes that had interior damage, certainly within crawl spaces. Other people had their houses were like islands," said Lewis & Clark County Commissioner Susan Geise.

Because Augusta is serviced only by well water, people who were flooded are experiencing dirty and unsafe water supplies.

"Like color, taste, odor, you should stop drinking and using that water for cooking. Instead you should acquire bottled water to be sure that it's clean," said Water Quality District coordinator Jim Wilbur

The American Red Cross planned to deliver 15 large cases of water as well as cleaning kits to residents.

"Big, and I mean big cases of drinking water coming along with the cleanup kits and of course we'll have the water testing kits," said Geise.

Water testing jars were also delivered to Augusta, so property owners can sample their wells.

"If you have bacteria in your water then you will need to treat your well using shock chlorination, which is essentially adding bleach to your well. There's a procedure for that," said Wilbur.

Geise says there's been a real toll taken on some of the roads in Augusta: "There are potholes that are in excess of a foot deep, some trenches that have been cut along side the roads."

Geise is asking people to be vigilant and not to get rid of their sandbags just yet, as we prepare for what could lie ahead: "Battening down the hatches for the next couple of days which is going to be significant."

Wilbur says test jars are available at the county as well, however testing shouldn't be done until the flooding is over.

Testing can cost as little as $20, and should be sent in immediately for processing.

The federal Centers For Disease Control & Prevention has more information about flood clean-up and safety/health concerns, including these tips:

Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.

Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.

Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

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

Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.

Click here for more information.

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