Recent heavy rainfall in North Florida and South Georgia has resulted in localized flooding in areas of Madison County. The Florida Department of Health in Madison County recommends the following precautions to those residents impacted by recent flooding.
During flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water. The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat. People should avoid driving in moving or standing water, regardless of the size of the vehicle.
Flood waters can rise and pool on streets and throughout neighborhoods. Be aware of the following:
Road surfaces become disguised and drivers may unknowingly steer into a deep body of water, such as a canal or pond.
Electricity from streetlights and power poles may be present in standing water, causing a deadly shock to anyone coming in contact with it.
Children playing in potentially contaminated standing water can become sick or be bitten by snakes or floating insects.
People coming into contact with floodwaters should thoroughly wash and rinse skin with soap and disinfected water. Residents in flood-affected areas should take precautions to avoid drinking potentially contaminated water. A flooded well may contain disease-causing bacteria and may not be safe to drink.
To disinfect water, DOH recommends one of the following:
Boil water before use, holding it at a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, washing food, cooking, or washing dishes.
Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp.) of plain, unscented household bleach (4 to 6 percent active ingredient) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.
Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
For information on what to do if your well is flooded, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environmts/private-well-testing/index.html or contact your local health department.