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Are Floods Actually Dangerous?
When residents of Southeastern Wisconsin think about dangerous weather, it’s no real surprise that tornados are usually the first to come to mind. Visually, tornados are about as threatening as it gets with vehicles and even livestock carried into the air through the sheer force of the winds.
However, floods are, statistically, not only the deadliest but more frequent extreme weather event in this area. Despite how dramatic tornados appear, tearing buildings apart, floods—which are really just a lot of water—regularly cause more property damage, injury, and even loss of life. But why? How could a lot of water be more dangerous than high speed winds?
First and foremost, many people drown as a result of flooding. Often this is because of poor judgment. People are lulled into a false sense of safety that just because a flood is water, it presents no threat. They don’t see the need to evacuate a home if it’s going to get “a little wet” compared to a tornado ripping the roof off a house. Many drownings occur when people attempt to drive vehicles—or even walk—through flood areas. Flood water may look relatively safe, but it too has a current, and even just a few feet of water can pull people under.
This, unfortunately, is a common occurrence indoors. Homes and commercial buildings are powered by electricity. That electrical power may still be “live” during the early stages of a flood. Pure water is, surprisingly, a very poor conductor of electricity. However, conventional water with minerals and other impurities is conversely an effective conductor.
This means that if the electrical power is still active in a flooded home or office, then just stepping into the water may result in an electrical shock. Depending on the intensity and length of the shock, this can result in a minor injury or be lethal.
Finally, flood water is untreated. The water we get from a tap has been sanitized with chemicals to make it safe for humans to swallow and digest. Unfortunately, the same is not true for water from a pond, lake, or flood. These sources of water may be rich in viruses and bacteria that make people sick. Such illnesses can be contracted through drinking. In the most extreme cases, physical contact is enough to transmit disease.
Clean Up Flood Water Carefully
This is why, when a home or commercial building is flooded, experts should be brought in to handle the flood water extraction. First, the flood may have made a building structurally unsafe, so the site should be inspected for safety reasons. Then, even once the building is declared structurally sound, the water must be safely removed to prevent further damage and the possibility of contagion. After that, the slow, careful work of repairing what can be saved, and replacing what can’t, must begin.
Call The Flood Damage Repair Experts
If you have flood damage you need to be repaired, we can help. Emergency Restoration Specialists, Inc. has over 30 years of experience serving the Milwaukee area. Contact us for a prompt, professional response.