NJ flood victims should trash food, assume well water contaminated
The long clean-up continues for hundreds of people affected by this week's severe storms in South Jersey.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties the morning after rains inundated some neighborhoods. The Red Cross this weekend was distributing emergency supplies. (See more about that below.)
Rescuers had to reach dozens of people by boat. The rains flooded roads and submerged some vehicles. No serious injuries or deaths were reported.
Burlington County health officials on Friday warned homeowners who rely on wells that they should consider their water contaminated. Residents also were advised to throw out any canned foods that may have come in contact with flood water.
Homes with wells should boil their water — five minutes at a high boil — before drinking.
Wells that were fully submerged should not be used at all for drinking, food preparation or washing until testing confirms that the well has not been contaminated. Click here for more information. A certified well driller will have to decontaminate the well after the flood water recedes.
Lakes and other bodies of water in flood areas should also be avoided until the water is tested.
Health officials say all food that touched flood waters should be thrown out, including canned goods because there's no way to tell whether a can was punctured or compromised before or during the flood.
Dishes, utensils and cookware should be disinfected with bleach.
People cleaning up after a flood should use gloves, boots and goggles and wash their hands carefully with clean water.
Red Cross help
Red Cross case workers will meet with victims and also provide clean-up kits and relief supplies at these locations.
Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- American Red Cross – Sewell office, 3 Parke Place Blvd., Sewell
- American Red Cross – Pennsauken office, 5425 Route 70 West, Pennsauken
Saturday, June 22, Noon to 6 p.m. (Supplies only)
- Burlington County Government Office, 624 Pemberton Browns Mills Road, Pemberton
- Burlington County Government Office, 1 Academy Drive, Westampton
Sunday, June 23, 8 a.m. to Noon
- Westville Public Library, 1035 Broadway, Westville
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.