Local News

Flood water may contain dangerous material

In light of the flooding in North Idaho, the Panhandle Health District is offering tips for people to stay healthy and safe.

“Flood waters can contain sewage, hazardous chemicals, and pathogens that pose a potential health risk," said Dale Pech, PHD's Environmental Health Administrator.  "People should avoid them if possible and take precautions before re-entering affected areas.”

Here's what you can do:
-Stay clear of flooded roads. Water on roads may appear shallow, but the road could be washed away and very dangerous.
-Avoid utilizing or recreating in flood water: Flood water may contain sewage, hazardous chemicals, or lead. Do not allow pets to swim in the water and wash all contaminated clothes and items in hot water and detergent.
-Inspect your well and/or septic system: Before resuming normal use of a well, have the water tested for possible bacteria and pollutants.
-Prevent disease. If you get a cut or puncture wound exposed to flood water, there is some risk of tetanus and you should be vaccinated if you haven't had a tetanus vaccination or “booster” in the past five years.

The U.S. National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for Kootenai, Bonner, Boundary, Shoshone, and Benewah counties.