DOB Warns of Potential Hazards in Buildings After Torrential Rain
“While the worst of the flooding has thankfully subsided, that doesn’t mean that the potential for hazards is over,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “Flood-damaged buildings can still pose serious dangers to New Yorkers.
Structural damage, undermining concerns, hazardous mold, and the deterioration of building electrical and gas plumbing systems, are some of the serious hazards that could confront New Yorkers who attempt to enter flood-damaged buildings today.
The DOB said that New Yorkers can stay safe from potential flooding hazards in their buildings by:
• Checking propertied for any structural stability issues and unsafe conditions due to flooding.
• Looking out for mold, newly formed cracks along walls, and signs of foundation damage, such as bulging walls.
• Taking extra precaution near outdoor structures such as decks, porches and retaining walls, whose structural stability might be weakened by the flood.
• Staying cautious of potential sink holes, especially near septic systems, that may have formed. Areas around large trees that are surrounded by soft soil are particular dangerous.
• Staying out of standing flood water, which may be contaminated, contain hazardous debris, or be electrically charged.
• Avoiding electrocution by taking extreme caution not to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
• Wearing gloves, boots, masks, and other protective clothing to protect from mold and other contaminants.
• Pumping out flood water with patience. Pumping out flood too quickly could cause serious structural damage.
• Keeping gas-powered generators outside: away from open windows, and always follow the user instructions in the owner's manual.
While New Yorkers can call the DOB at 311 for building-related questions and concerns, 911 should be called for emergencies.