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Hurricane Sandy Aftermath & Cleanup

As County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said, our region dodged a bullet when the brunt of Hurricane Sandy stayed far to our east. The County Executive wants to thank the staff of the Department of Emergency Services, local first responders, public works crews and others who worked hard to protect our communities and keep us safe and informed during the storm.

Very Small Chance of River Flooding

There remains a very small chance of river flooding as snow melts in West Virginia and Western Maryland. For those residents and businesses in low lying areas or near our major rivers, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for flooding.

Cleaning Up & Getting Back to Normal

There are plenty of resources in place to help the region clean up and get back to normal after Hurricane Sandy:

The PA 2-1-1 Southwest Line is active 24/7 and can help connect callers in need of debris removal, repair of storm-damage to utilities, home repairs, utilities or food.

The American World Wide Web Icon Red Cross Southwestern Pa. has volunteers to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Visit World Wide Web Icon www.swpa.redcross.org or call 888-217-9599 if you need help. To volunteer, leave a message at 412-263-3182 or go to World Wide Web Icon www.swpa.redcross.org.

The Allegheny County Health Department is offering cleanup tips for homes and businesses that experienced flooding and high water due to heavy rains this week:

  • Clean and disinfect washable surfaces that have come in contact with floodwaters. 
  • Wash with soap and water, then disinfect with a mixture of household bleach and water – one and a quarter-cup of bleach per gallon of water if floodwaters come from sewers and a quarter-cup of bleach to a gallon of water if floodwaters aren’t tainted by sewage.
  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner.  Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and eye protection when disinfecting surfaces and try not to breathe bleach fumes.
  • Discard upholstered furniture, mattresses, bedding and stuffed toys soaked in floodwaters.
  • Soaked and soiled carpeting should also be discarded.  If you try to salvage carpeting, dry it out and then shampoo it with a commercial rug cleaner.
  • Clean, dry and check your furnace, water heater, washer, dryer and other appliances before using them.  Don't handle electrical equipment in wet areas.  Call a plumber or an electrician for professional service.
  • To remove odors from refrigerators and freezers, use warm water with a detergent and wipe dry.  If an odor persists, try a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda or one cup of household ammonia per gallon of water.
  • Throw away foods that have come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Make sure everyone involved in flood cleanup work has an up-to-date tetanus shot.  Boosters are recommended every 10 years.
  • Flood cleanup tips are also available by calling the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (2243).

It Always Pays to Be Prepared

Hurricane Sandy is a good reminder that it always pays to be prepared for a natural disaster. For information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of disasters and emergencies, visit Preparedness Links.