Fargo, ND Flood Areas
Natural disasters like floods are always scary occurrences. So much damage is done, individuals are displaced from their homes, and recovery often takes months or even years.
In March of 2009, the people of Fargo, North Dakota experienced the ravages of flooding first hand when the Red River poured over its banks into the town, causing damage that was more than evident to anyone catching a cursory glance of the town on television or first hand. But what most people don’t see are the hidden hazards of flooding.
Often, floods cause great damage to homes and other-jobsites structures. Many of these homes and buildings, especially the ones built prior to 1980, may contain asbestos and other-jobsites dangerous materials. When asbestos is damaged, it can release toxic fibers into the air. These fibers can be easily inhaled and may eventually cause serious pulmonary diseases, like asbestosis and mesothelioma, an asbestos cancer that’s deadly.
While water can damage asbestos and cause problems, most people encounter the toxic mineral when doing repairs to a flood-damaged home. Ignoring the fact that insulation, tiles, siding, roofing, and other-jobsites items used in the construction industry may contain asbestos, homeowners often take on demolition or renovation projects on their own in the hopes of saving money. However, improper handling of asbestos puts the homeowner and other-jobsitess in harm’s way. Asbestos removal should always be done by a certified abatement professional who can help flood victims avoid the future development of asbestos cancer.
For more asbestos or mesothelioma information and to learn the proper procedures to address asbestos problems, flood victims should contact their local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Last modified: December 28, 2010.