As Kane County and its municipalities prepare for flooding along the Fox River, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen has issued a disaster declaration July 14 to prepare for expected near-record flood levels, officials announced in a news release from the Kane County Office of Emergency Management.
On the night of July 11 into the morning of July 12, multiple waves of thunderstorms moved across southern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois with substantial rainfall amounts as a result, the release stated.
Extreme flooding is forecast along the Fox River, which is expected to reach major flood stage level in northern Kane County by this weekend, the release stated.
As the level of the Fox River continues to rise, residents who need sandbags should first check with their municipality for availability or they can get sandbags at the Kane County Highway Department, 41W011 Burlington Road, Campton Hills.
Another release issued by the Kane County Office of Emergency Management said sand bags are available at the Kane County highway garage located at 41W011 Burlington Road, Campton Hills. The release went onto say that residents should first check with their local municipality.
The disaster declaration will serve to activate the county’s emergency operations plans and help residents to qualify for federal disaster assistance should the county qualify for such aid, the release stated.
This past week’s rains are expected to leave some areas of Kane County inundated with floodwaters, and Kane County Health Department officials are advising residents take precautions when returning home after a flood.
In addition to structural damage, floodwaters can contaminate both food and drinking water with bacteria, viruses and other organisms, officials stated in a news release from the Kane County Health Department.
If symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps are experienced, seek medical attention, the health department's release stated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person receives a puncture wound or other severe wound while in contact with contaminated floodwaters, that person should be evaluated immediately by a health care provider and receive a tetanus shot if it has been more than five years since the last booster, the release stated.
For those who have private wells, if the well casing has been submerged in floodwaters, the well water could be contaminated, the release stated.
Residents are advised to use bottled water or water previously stored in the refrigerator for drinking, brushing teeth, and preparing food or baby formula until the well water has been tested, the release stated.
The health department provides free well testing kits to well owners whose private water supply is affected by floodwaters, the release stated.
The kits are available during regular business hours at 1240 N. Highland Ave., Aurora, and by appointment at 1750 Grandstand Place, Elgin. Call 630-444-3040 to make an appointment, the release stated.
To protect oneself against diseases and other hazards following a flood, it is recommended residents take the following steps:
• Wash hands with soap and water. Make sure children follow these same precautions as keeping hands clean helps avoid getting sick.
• Do not eat any food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
• If the power was out, the refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door remains closed, and a full freezer will keep food for two days. Residents are advised that if they are in doubt about a food’s safety to throw it out.
• Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
• To reduce the risk of injury, residents are advised to wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
• Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected, such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and most paper products.
• Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or floodwaters.
• Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces, such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures, with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.
• The drying process can be sped up by using fans, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.
Additional information about cleaning up after a flood is available by calling the health department’s Environmental Health Division at 630-444-3040 or by visiting its website at www.kanehealth.com.
Additional details on clean-up and disinfection are also available from the Illinois Department of Public Health at www.idph.state.il.us.