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Flooding Information for Residents and Businesses

July 13, 2010

Torrential rainfall on July 10 triggered flash flooding in Cambridge and other communities.   About 3.5 inches of rain fell in Cambridge in the span of an hour, damaging some homes, businesses, and city buildings.

The Cambridge Public Health Department is encouraging residents and business owners to clean and dry areas impacted by the flood water within 24 to 48 hours, which will substantially reduce the chances of later mold growth. People are advised to wear gloves and to avoid touching any clean surfaces with their gloves or walking across clean areas with shoes that were used during clean up.

Given the brief duration of Saturday’s thunderstorm, mold growth is a greater health concern than bacterial contamination, according to officials at the Cambridge Public Health Department.

“In a very short, intense storm there will be many basements that were flooded with fairly clean rain water,” said Sam Lipson, the department’s Director of Environmental Health. He added that if the storm had been prolonged with lighter rainfall, there would be a greater chance that the flood waters would contain sewer system overflow and harmful bacteria.

More Information

Cleaning up Following a Flood  Information from the Cambridge Department of Public Works.

Flooding and Sewage Back-ups: Home Care Guide  A guide from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

What to do during a flood emergency  Tips from the MA Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.



Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

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