Indoor Air Quality Alert: Vermont Flooding

What is the location of the flooding?

As of July 12, 2023, flooding in the Northeast is occurring due to heavy rain, particularly in the New England region. The flooding has impacted various states, including Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (1)(2)(3).

There are flood warnings for Connecticut (4).

Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?

The cities and areas directly affected by the flooding include Burlington, Barre Town, Londonderry, Newport, Montpelier, Middlebury, Springfield, and Rutland in Vermont. Additionally, other areas across the state and the region have also experienced significant flooding.

There are flooding alerts in Hartford and Falls River, Connecticut and Greenfield and Northampton, Massachusetts

What is the current status of the flooding?

The rain has stopped in some areas, but floodwaters may continue to rise. More rain is expected later in the week.

Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?

A state of emergency has been declared in Vermont and New York. Swift water rescue teams have conducted over 100 rescues in Vermont, and numerous roads across the state have been closed due to flooding. Downtown Montpelier has been closed until at least noon on Tuesday due to floodwaters.

Roads were closed in parts of the Mid-Hudson region in New York on July 10 (5).

It is recommended to follow local authorities' instructions and stay updated on evacuation orders, alerts, and safety guidelines issued for the affected areas.

How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?

It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.

  • Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
  • Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
  • If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
  • Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
  • Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
  • If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.

Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.

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