Residents Affected by Flooding Advised to Take Special Precautions

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON - State officials are advising residents in southern Vermont, including the City of Rutland, affected by flash flooding over the weekend to take special precautions to prevent illness and injury.

More rain is forecast this week and additional flooding may result where the ground is saturated with water. Stay tuned to local media for updates and safety instructions.

Prevent Illness from Water

Water may not be safe to drink, clean with, or bathe in after a flood, and it may be contaminated with microorganisms, such as bacteria, sewage, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, and other harmful substances.

People with drinking water wells in flooded areas should assume that their water is contaminated, and take precautions to protect health if the well is in close proximity to flooded areas, or if there has been a change in water quality (odor or taste).

Until a water test confirms that the water is safe, use bottled water, or boil water for one minute to make it safe for drinking, cooking, making juice or ice, washing fruits or vegetable and brushing teeth.

Prevent Illness from Food

Another source of potential illness is food that is no longer safe to eat, including any food that has contact with flood or storm water.

The Health Department is sending a team of sanitarians to help affected food establishments recover.

Prevent and Treat Injuries and Other Illnesses

More Information

For more detailed information on how to avoid illness and injury during or after a flood, visit the Health Department web site at: www.healthvermont.gov.

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