Recent heavy rains have caused flooding on some Southwest Florida roadways. That has authorities warning about driving and using well-water in flooded areas. State Road 31 near the Charlotte/Lee County line is underwater. Glades County is still dealing with flooded roads and now officials are warning about flooding in Collier’s Golden Gate Estates. Many roads in that rural area are up to one foot under water. And homeowners like Marci Hofman are panicking as their property floods.
“We’ve got waterfront property. My main concern is because I have horses and I’m worried about them because we only have one spot that’s dry to feed them. And like I say our feed box, which is quite big, just floated by.”
Collier Emergency management spokeswoman Jaime Sarbaugh says authorities are doing what they can to drain the water.
“Some people have water in the swales in front of their homes and things like that. The canals are pretty high right now but we’ve been told by water management and south Florida water management district that their weirs are open and they are working to move that water.”
Motorists shouldn’t drive on roads that are underwater. Also, water can be contaminated from flooded septic tanks, backed-up sewers, animal feces or may contain hidden sharp objects.
Flooding is so bad in Collier County’s Golden Gate Estates, some livestock owners are searching for dry land to house their horses. Marci Hofman is one of those folks. She says there is knee-high and higher water around her property and she says the water is still flowing. Hofman says this is the worst it’s ever been during her two years in the area.
“We’ve never had flooding. Oh we’d have a puddle here, a puddle there but not to the point I have to worry about my animals. And I walked out the front door and by the front door, because everything else is flooded around, I got snakes crawling all over. Our septic tank is in front of the house where we had to put the horses because it was the only place that was high enough so that we could feed them atleast.”
The Collier County Health Department advises residents with private wells to take precautions if their well head has been covered with standing water. A flooded well head means your water may contain disease-causing organisms and may not be safe to drink, according to Collier emergency management spokeswoman Jaime Sarbaugh.
“That water can be contaminated because of the flooding. They will be notified when the boil water has gone away. They need to wait until after the water recedes and they can test their water.”
Until flooding subsides residents should boil their water for one minute, disinfect it with 8 drops of plain bleach per gallon or use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and washing areas of skin that have been cut or injured.
AFTER the standing water subsides, residents should disinfect their wells.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 01:00
FloodingWritten by WGCU Newsroom