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West Liberty flood cleanup
by Index · May 02, 2013


People who fell victim to the flooding have been alerted to get rid of anything that cannot be properly cleaned as hazardous mold will affect flood-stricken material.

Mary Odell, Muscatine County’s Public Health Director, visited West Liberty on Saturday during a city-wide cleanup at the Dutton Sports Complex. She announced that just about everything that was in a flooded basement needs to be thrown away.

“Mattresses, beds, couches, strollers, books, even stuff that is iffy,” Odell said, “It needs to be tossed.”

Odell added one-foot above dry wall and insulation also must go as it sucks up water. She said the only salvageable items are ones that can be submersed in bleach water, thoroughly cleaned and dried out. She said hardwood is the only type of furniture that could possibly be bleached and dried out in the sun, though she was hesitant to recommend saving those items.

In an effort to assist West Liberty flood victims, WL city officials coordinated with Muscatine County’s Public Health Department, Transfer Station and Emergency Management Services. The group joined together last weekend with local volunteers and the American Red Cross to aid people in keeping safe by getting rid of water damaged materials lurking within homes.

Citizens were asked to either leave debris on the curb or haul it to the sports complex to dispose in large metal receptacles.

Muscatine County’s Solid Waste Manager, Laura Liegois, said 80.33 tons of garbage was disposed during the cleanup event, and that number did not include electronic waste.

She also said this is the first time she has aided West Liberty with a flood disaster of this caliber and has not seen flooding affect residential homes to this extent in any nearby towns or cities.

Residents of Nichols and Atalissa were invited to dump flood-damaged material last weekend, but Lee Geertz, a cleanup volunteer and resident of Nichols, estimated only a handful of basements in Nichols flooded. She also mentioned hearing that very few basements in Atalissa were affected by the flood.

Reporters from the Quad-Cities, Cedar Rapids and Muscatine visited the cleanup event to tell the story of West Liberty. The story even made TV news in Des Moines.

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