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2012-06-01 at 16:16

People living in flood homes a great concern,: Health unit

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
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The health unit wants people to stay out of their flooded homes if they can.

As recovery efforts get underway, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit says public health from contaminated areas and homes is a concern.

“It concerns me greatly. I don’t think they should be in there. There’s risk of electrocution, there’s risks of slipping on the steps and drowning. You’ve got five feet of water in peoples’ basements so if they’re trying to remediate while they haven’t pumped out yet that’s of great concern,” health unit environmental health programs manager Christopher Beveridge said.

“They’re putting themselves at risk is the way I see it to fix their property. I understand why but they are taking a risk.”

“People really need to monitor their own level of health and if they are feeling ill to go seek medical assistance and also to prevent their illness by taking precautions by not getting involved in any cleanup.”

Instead, people should be taking advantage of the shelter at Neebing Arena Beveridge said. There have been no reports to the health unit so far from flood related illnesses but that doesn’t mean there won’t be. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms after coming into contact with flood water or sewage.

“All of our disease surveillance has not indicated an increase in emergency room visits,” Beveridge said.

If people do choose to clean up their homes, the health unit says rubber boots, gloves and goggles should be worn at all times. Once flood water and sewage are removed, damaged materials should be taken out while still wet. Wounds and sores should also not come into contact with any flood water.

“To avoid any airborne stirring up of dusts and things like that once those materials start to dry,” Beveridge said.

Hard surfaces should then be washed with hot soapy water before being disinfected with one cup of bleach per bucket of water. Fans or dehumidifiers also need to be used to prevent mold.

For rural residence, the health unit says well testing should only begin after water levels have returned to normal and the well has been disinfected. Sample bottles, which are available at the health unit as well as the Oliver-Paipoonge and Conmee community centres, can be dropped off at the public health lab on Syndicate Avenue.


 

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Comments

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tbaylifer says:
The East End should be evacuated immediatly. With children and elderly, whom would be very susceptible to water born disease, get them out of there.
6/1/2012 5:48:18 PM
Sui Generis says:
Easy for you to say. No one is making me leave my home.

1. What am I supposed to do with my pets? Just leave them to fend for themselves?

2. Leave my house unattended for looters? I don't think so.

3. I have children attending school. Getting them there and home from the shelter would be next to impossible. We're trying to carry on with normal life as much as possible. Our children require that after losing almost everything they owned.

You don't have a right to make demands on the lives of people when you're not the one it would be inconveniencing. In the meantime, we're being careful, following all safety precautions, and any risks we take are ours to take.
6/2/2012 8:43:16 AM
citizenreporter says:
I feel for you and understand your situation, please be safe and think about the health of you and your animals. We will get through this.
6/6/2012 11:36:38 AM
lily_burgers says:
Correct me if I am wrong, but when I see workers pumping water from sewers through man-holes and emptying it into the rovers, that is pure untreated sewage going to Lake Superior?? How is that safe?
6/1/2012 7:13:11 PM
wayne says:
prudent advice and precautions.
6/1/2012 8:16:00 PM
wayne says:
p.s. I think that TBNewswatch's poll should have replaced the scholastic grading with: excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor. And keep in mind the poll is about the Community response, not just the City admin, council, workers, etc.
6/1/2012 8:34:27 PM
Gord says:
Or, maybe instead of sitting around with all of your colleagues at high level meetings wording these ridiculous messages, you could actually do some work and help the people in need. Seriously, this is the most ridiculous public service message I have ever heard. What are people with no resources and money supposed to do - what you told them here is to not clean up their homes because they might slip on the stairs... are you serious!!! Who do you propose help people clean up their homes?? The Health Unit is a joke.
6/1/2012 9:21:36 PM
The Wolf says:
Gord, the Health Unit has had a very high and visible presence in the East End for several days now. They, as well as others, have donated items and helped out where they can.

The advice above is also not about slips and falls or other injuries. The Health Unit is concerned about bacterial and other pathogens that lead to health conditions that could result in death.

I suggest to you instead of sitting on your rear end complaining and running down others maybe you can head down and help us out.
6/2/2012 12:12:25 PM
hopper says:
I live on McLeod Street. Where's this very high and visible presence of the Health Unit you're talking about?
Sorry but a lot of us out here thought we were dealing with just water the first couple of days, only to find out we had been dealing with raw sewage. Was the health unit going door to door Monday to warn us??????? NO. How many of us are going to get ecoli, hepatitis, or any other of a hundred possible diseases?
We all can't leave our homes. The city was NOT NOT NOT prepared for this emergency.
6/3/2012 2:16:47 AM
The Wolf says:
First I do feel sorry for all the people with flooding, I have it myself by the way, and hope everything turns out fine.

The Health Unit has been very active in this disaster, they don't have the high profile vans, trucks but they have been around as I have seen and talked with several of them.

You blame the city for not being ready for this disaster, one that is pretty hard to predict on this scale and not many i any have a plan for this. I dont blame the city at all for not being 100% ready for something like this as it is not your common occurrence.

But since you want to blame the city I ask you this. You live in that area and more then likely have had water before or at least were aware of the high risk you stood. So with that at hand information you should of attained how were you personally prepared for a disaster like this? If you want to lay blame put it in the right spot.

I also do not believe that anyone can mistaken raw sewage for cleanish water.


6/3/2012 11:38:27 AM
hopper says:
To address your issues:

I have lived in the East End for 36 years, in the same house. Parents live one block away. Neither of us has EVER had *water* in our basements. YES, I STILL have two sump pumps, I have only ever used them to help other family members and friends pump out water from their homes. This time they were our homes. I repeat NEVER had water. And yes, we had backup in case it DID happen.
However...this was NOT water, but sewage. Raw sewage. My 72 year old mother had tampons floating in her basement. Did we see that immediately? Nope. I didn't say I saw clean water, it stank, was dirty and filthy as one would expect water to be coming up from wherever it came up. But until we got in there with lights and SAW what had come up, nope! We did NOT know it was raw sewage.
I certainly DO blame the city, who spent a hundred million bucks on a new plant that had no fail safe disaster scenario built into it. No single person took into consideration a disaster scenario? SHAME!
6/3/2012 10:09:12 PM
Gord says:
Interesting comments. How do you know what I have or have not done? Despite your poorly thought out argument and nonsensical comment, I think I will stand by my original comment. For a group that costs tax-payers a huge amount of money, they accomplish virtually nothing except to offer these simplistic platitudes instead of really helping a situation.
6/3/2012 9:17:34 PM
westfort resident says:
Days after the fact and the Health Unit FINALLY says something specific about possible health risks in flooded buildings, not just the food associated risks. A bit late with the warning, considering people have been cleaning up for days and working in unsanitary conditions. I agree with Gord.
6/2/2012 10:16:17 AM
chbaker says:
Is this the same "health unit" that went around the affected area stopping food donations?

Cause that happened.

Health unit sucks. They should close. Or be less stupid. Or both,
6/2/2012 5:50:56 PM
fort says:
The health unit has allowed donations of non perishable food products and donations from establishments that are licenced. I'm sure the east end residents would like a foodborne illness to go along with their sewage problems from someone that made a homemade meal in their own home and caused contamination.

If this did happen, then people like you would also bash them saying "how could the health unit allow people to donate food that caused someone to get sick!"

So I think you need to shut up, or become a lot more educated, or both!
6/3/2012 3:26:53 PM
tbayguy009 says:
People have been feeding themselves and their families for generations.

Maybe you should shut up and get out of neighbours helping neighbours lives.

According you people like you ... we shouldn't be cooking ourselves, ever. Unless we are properly instructed to do so by own government masters. We should ONLY eat governement approved greul. Which I might add, may have to be recalled at some point, because of listeria, samonella or ecoli which was MISSED during the government approved inspection processs. Then there is always the follow up news report of 'Sorry you got sick'.

It works for government departments. But you deny the people to help each other???

Now, stay home and order some take out. These people are doing what needed to be done ... immediatey.

Sorry to hear that you are jeasous though, because it runs over the authority to control people.
6/4/2012 12:52:00 PM
Hardrawkin says:
I don't subscribe to this attitude that the homeowners should not attempt their own clean up. That we need a Quote "Professional" to do everything for us.
Yes there are some risks but with an informed mind and some basic protective measures they can be minimized.
The sooner the water is and the waterlogged contents of the home are removed the lower the risk of serious problems both structural and health related.
I thing the city officials ,Health Unit included, should be demonstrating the safe practices and supplying basic protection equipment to those homeowners who want to do their own clean up.
6/3/2012 9:58:14 AM
yer joking says:
Between the health uunit and the conversation Society I think I know where we can get money to remediate the cost of the flood. It would burst a couple of balons and make some people acctually go to work, but in the long it would be worth it to take their budgets and say now reinvent yourself so as to do some good!
6/4/2012 5:02:07 PM
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