With the recent stretch of heavy rains and snow melt, the Fox River in Kenosha County is beginning to crest. Kenosha County residents affected by flooding should be aware of the health and safety hazards associated with rising water from rivers, creeks, and ravines. “Flood waters are unsafe, and residents should take heed of the dangers before attempting to re-enter their homes or assess damages – flood waters should never be considered for recreation. Swift and variable river currents along with potential health and safety hazards created from floating or buried objects, damaged electrical systems, or contamination due to decreased sanitation provide an extremely dangerous environment,” Cynthia Johnson, Health Officer/Director, Kenosha County Division of Health.
The Kenosha County Division of Health reminds all Kenosha County residents affected by flooding of the following safety measures and considerations:
- Stay away from rising river waters and remember that even shallow, standing water presents potential risks/hazards.
- Wear boots or waders if you must expose yourself to flood waters.
- If there has been a backflow of sewage into your home, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during clean-up and disinfect contaminated household materials.
- Consult your utility company before you attempt to use water damaged appliances to avoid electrocution.
- Portable generator exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide gas – only use a generator if you can vent its exhaust safely.
- Call the Kenosha County Division of Health or your healthcare provider for a tetanus vaccine if you receive an open wound from a flood water contaminated object.
- Test your well water for contamination if you live in a flooded area. (Note: Water testing kits are available at the Kenosha County Division of Health, 8600 Sheridan Road, Suite 600, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday).
For further information about health and safety hazards related to flooding and recommendations for clean-up, please contact the Kenosha County Division of Health at (262) 605-6700 or visit the website at www.co.kenosha.wi.us.