Heavy rains Tuesday have caused flooded basements and properties in St. Peter, prompting Nicollet County to offer free Salvation Army Clean-up Kits and sandbags to county residents .
Kits that include a 5-gallon bucket, bleach, a mop and broom, sponges and gloves are available at no charge in the Nicollet County Emergency Management Office in the basement of the Courthouse or at Nicollet County Public Health in the Health & Human Services building.
Sandbags are available to be picked up at the Emergency Management offices during business hours.
Nicollet County Public Health also offers simple tips on how residents can stay safe and healthy during clean-up and repair:
Injury prevention: Stay out of flood waters; even the strongest swimmers can drown in flood waters. Do not drive through standing water. Never make contact with power lines or objects that are in contact with the lines. Wear rubber gloves and boots, as well as eye goggles to clear.
Water: Check for local boil-water advisories. Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food or baby formula, or make ice.
Well water: If your well has been affected by flood waters, it is recommended to boil water for at least one minute at a rolling boil or instead purchase from a safe source. Before resuming normal use of the well, have the water tested for possible bacteria and pollutants. See https://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2019/wellflood031819.html
Food: Do not eat food that has come in contact with flood waters. Throw away any food that cannot be kept cold or properly heated due to lack of power.
Carbon monoxide poisoning: Don’t use a generator, pressure washer, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, or near a window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause flu-like symptoms, illness or death. Seek fresh air and consult a healthcare provider immediately if poisoning is suspected.
First aid: Immediately clean all wounds with soap and water. If your skin or eyes come in contact with hazardous materials, wash thoroughly with clean water. Make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date. See: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/tetanus/tetanusfacts.html
Mental health: Floods and other natural disasters can create stress and anxiety for those affected and those who help. Talking to others, along with eating health and getting enough sleep can make a big difference. See: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/ep/behavioral/stress.html
Mold: Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours on items that have contact with floodwater. Remove it by washing with soap and water and letting surfaces dry completely. Bleach can be used to kill germs and mold on non-porous surfaces. Surfaces that hold food can be sanitized with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of safe water, increasing to ¼ - to a ½-cup for items like walls, floors and tables that won’t come in contact with food or mouths. Materials such as moldy clothing, ceiling tiles and sheetrock may have to be replaced. See: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/index.html
For more information: Contact Nicollet County Public Health at (507) 934-7220.