This past week saw many students only have a 1 day school week and thousands of people being asked to leave their homes. I was one of those people who was just on the edge of the flood plain and was under a voluntary evacuation for a few days. This is an incredibly stressful situation; not knowing if you should leave, were to go, or what you would find when you get back. It’s made all the more stressful when you have a pet; who is going to look after them?
We of course had many offers of help from friends and family and were ultimately fine. Our home was untouched by the flood waters.
Many others however were not so lucky; this location was one whose photograph and story circulated around social media over the week. It sits at the corner of Grand River Ave and Scarfe Ave and was hit rather hard by the flooding. Even after the city had managed to put in a temporary dyke and drain the water off the street they were still pumping water out of their basement for some time.
The city did do its best to clean up the flood and help people to get back into their homes as quickly as possible; but with the flood waters staying high for the first few days it was a risky bet to go back into some of the more dangerous areas and as a measure of safety the evacuation orders remained in effect until Friday night. Better safe than sorry.
Their efforts were slightly impeded however by a public spectacle that should not have been. While there were some who had an excuse; media for example, there were a number of people who not only continued to enter the flood areas but did so recklessly. I can recall a trio of trucks that went side by side up a street intended for 1.5 vehicles and all they wanted to do was go gawk at the flooded river.
This number of people in a place where the city is still trying to pump water out of flooded storm drains is not safe or helpful.
There is something to be said for the cities efforts however; they managed to clean up some of the neighbourhoods rather quickly and that likely kept the damage in those areas to a minimum. Just a few hours of flood water was capable of quite a bit of damage.
And with the size of some of the ice flow it is a marvel that more damage wasn’t done to our bridges. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t damage done to a number of homes and lives. Fortunately there were no deaths in Brantford and with the water going down people can work on getting things back in order. Part of that will be cleaning up their flooded homes.
But even once the water is gone there is still a concern with mould developing. I thought I would gather together a few helpful tips for how to keep mould from growing after a flood.
- Remove the water as quickly as possible; use buckets, towels, pumps, wet/dry vacuums (not regular vacuums), fans and open windows. Anything to help dry it up as quick as you can. Check that it is dry everywhere with a paper towel, if it comes back wet then you aren’t done.
- Use baking soda, sprinkle it liberally on your carpet to help soak up excess moisture and odours you might have missed.
- Use a dehumidifier, once the water is gone from the floor you need to get it out of the air so it doesn’t settle back in. Keep it off the wet floor to avoid the risk of electrical shock.
- Steam Clean the carpet. Carpets are a magnet for moisture and its so easy for mould to grow underneath where you cannot see it.
- Sanitize your walls and baseboard. Using a bleach solution give them a scrub to stop mould from growing on your walls.
- Removing furniture. If there is any furniture on your floor its best to take it outside where it can be out of the way and checked for water or water damage before it can make your situation worse.
- Call a professional; if there is any question if mould can still develop then its better to call an expert rather than take the chance and have to do a remodel because of mould.
Unfortunately that is the best I can offer you except my hopes that you don’t have to deal with this particular problem.
Thank you Brantford for all you did during the flood and all you continue to do after.
Photos and Video by Richard Huskisson