Public health flood reminders - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Public health flood reminders

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Benton County is ready to assist residents as they prepare for possible flooding. 

"While we are more prepared for the 2016 flooding, personal health and safety remains a top priority," said Melissa Smith, Benton County Public Health Director. 

To help prevent injuries, Benton County Public Health reminds residents to: 

  • Avoid contact with flood water as much as possible.  Do not wade or swim through flood water as it may be contaminated by bacteria, chemicals or other pollutants.  If water is above your ankles, turn around and go another way; as little as 6 inches of water can sweep you off your feet.
  • Do not drive in flooded areas. As little as 6 inches of water will cause loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float most vehicles. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground.
  • Flood water can make you and your family sick. Wash your hands with soap and clean water. Wash your hands often, especially before preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and after cleaning. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent sickness.
  • In the event of a power outage keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
  • If you have a private well that has been affected by flood waters, use only clean water (bottled, boiled, or treated) for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene such as brushing teeth.
  • Preparing for and responding to flooding can be extremely stressful. Get adequate rest, take breaks, stay hydrated, and ask people for help if you need it. If you need to talk to someone, help is available at
    • Iowa Concern @ 1-800-447-1985 (Financial questions, legal issues, family transitions)
    • Iowa Helpline @ or 1-855-800-1239 (Talk /Text/Chat Mental Health Crisis Line)
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