What is the location of the flooding?
On October 19, 2023, Storm Babet struck northwestern Europe, bringing flooding to several towns and cities across Ireland and Scotland. Flooding, high winds, and rain are damaging homes and businesses across the region.
Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?
The worst affected area is Midleton, a village in County Cork, Ireland. Hundreds of properties have been damaged, most notably the town center streets and Midleton Community Hospital (1).
Around 360 homes in Brechin, Scotland are being evacuated (2).
The River South Esk area in Scotland is particularly at risk. Towns at risk are Forfar, Kirriemuir, and parts of Dundee and western Tayside.
Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?
Evacuation efforts are underway in Midleton as people are being rescued from flooded homes and businesses. Midleton Garda Station is closed due to adverse weather conditions.
In addition to the evacuated in Brechin, emergency rest centers are being set up.
A rare 'danger to life' red warning has been issued by the Met Office for parts of Scotland, indicating the severity of the situation.
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How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?
It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.
• Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
• Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
• If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
• Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
• Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
• Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
• Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
• Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
• If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.
Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.