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Oregon Dam Might Cause Floods

Published by 911 Restoration Portland on May 30, 2014 in category: Current Event, Water Damage Restoration with tags:

Residents in Salem, Oregon recently learned that the earthen dam located near their homes is in danger of failing. Earthen dams are made of soil materials, including clay and sand, instead of man-made materials such as cement. Erosion of natural substances contained in dams occurs more frequently due to torrential rains. The soil of the dam in Salem is fertile enough to grow a variety of plants, including trees. The dam holds back over 4 million gallons of water, but scientists are concerned because if trees are dislodged due to windstorms the soil will erode faster, leading to dangers from flooding.


What Should People do When a Flood Warning is Issued?

While the homes and people in Salem are not in immediate danger, I think residents need to prepare for the future. While we are making plans to repair the Salem Dam, I want us to know what to do if it overflows to protect our property. Preparing a flood emergency kit that contains fresh water, food and a first aid kit is a great idea. This kit should be portable and lightweight enough to carry if you need to hike from the area with my family because driving is dangerous.


How Can You Protect Your Home from a Flood?

The scientists who inspected our dam have made a few suggestions concerning repairs that I think we should consider, including lowering its water level permanently or installing an overflow spillway. There are also things you can do to protect your home from a flood such as waterproofing your basement to help it resist moisture. If a flood is going to occur, turn off the electricity and gas to prevent fires and explosions. Applying sealants to surfaces and moving important possessions to higher levels are great precautionary measure.


When do You Need Professional Help for Flood Cleanup?

Cleaning up after a flooding incident in a home requires specialized equipment that is used by knowledgeable water damage restoration technicians. After a flood the utilities are often turned off, making it necessary to use generators to power sump pumps and extraction machines. Damp buildings become humid quickly, leading to moisture buildup inside walls and duct work where mold begins to grow. A team of professionals understands how to remove moisture from my home to prevent additional damage and can even help with safe mold removal.


How Can You Prevent Flooding in Your Home?

I know the Salem Dam overflowing is not the only way my home might be flooded, leading to extensive damage. A few times a year, I clean the gutters and downspouts on my home to remove debris. This helps to prevent rainwater from flowing against my home’s foundation. I also inspect the water heater and pipes to determine if the items require repair or replacing to prevent water damage. In the early autumn, I insulate the valves, faucets and pipes outside to prevent the items from freezing and rupturing.

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