Multiple days of storms with heavy rainfall have caused the Arkansas River to swell leading to historic flooding in Northeast Oklahoma. SERVPRO Disaster Professionals, whose offices in Fort Gibson are currently under water, are poised and ready to respond as soon as waters begin to recede.
Carl Kelley, Owner of SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah, has a few words of caution for local residents.
“The first 24 hours after a water damage or flood are some of the most critical,” said Kelley. “Many flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate. I want to encourage local residents to be cautious of who they invite into their home to assist in cleanup. Avoid unsolicited contractors and verify you are working with a licensed disaster professional that is properly insured with liability insurance and knowledgeable in mitigation.”
After the water begins to recede and authorities determine it is safe for residents to return to their property, there are several steps that can be taken to prevent additional damage from occurring. SERVPRO® suggests the following steps to help minimize additional damage to your property while waiting for disaster professionals to arrive.
- If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
- Take the greatest caution while entering your home and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.
- Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
- Throw away all foods – even canned goods – that have come into contact with flood waters.
- If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.