For Hurricane Sandy flood victims, a guide to fixing your house, from Hurricane Katrina survivors at The Times-Picayune
ictims of flooding in the Northeast wrought by superstorm Sandy have a long road to recovery ahead. Here's a guide to repairing flooded homes written by staffers of The Times-Picayune who survived Hurricane Katrina, first published Sept. 17, 2005, and slightly updated here.
The articles, written by Karen Taylor Gist, Renee Peck and Judy Walker, contain information from The Red Cross; Federal Emergency Management Agency; interviews with contractors, structural engineers, industrial hygienists, insurance adjusters, residents who have previously mitigated after hurricanes and floods:
Home repair in the wake of catastrophic flooding is enough to boggle the brain. Ruined refrigerators are the common denominator of damage, but past that, other things seem to come in layers. Wet wood that sat in 2 feet of rainwater for two days is usually salvageable, but wood that soaked in 6 feet of toxic water for three weeks may not be - and since no city since Atlantis has sat underwater as long as parts of southeast Louisiana after Katrina, experts are still debating what can be saved and what must be bulldozed, and conditions will vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Air-conditioning can be an important tool in drying things out, but experts advise against turning it on until it can be checked for electrical damage and the ducts cleaned of mold spores and other potential health irritants. After spending a couple of weeks unchallenged, mold is likely not only to coat your walls but to threaten your health as well....(more)