Flood victims should be diligent as temperatures drop

The water is receding in the still-flooded Southern Lakes region, but below-zero temperatures could cause residents some problems.

The water is receding in the still-flooded Southern Lakes region, but below-zero temperatures could cause residents some problems.

Water levels have been dropping for the last four weeks — 10 centimetres in the last week, according to the territorial Emergency Measures Organization.

It’ll be mid-October before the lakes recede to below pre-flood levels, said officials.

But still relatively high water levels combined with freezing temperatures could still cause problems for residents, who’ve only just begun to deal with flood damage to their properties.

While an overnight dip below zero isn’t a cause for concern right now.

However, once the freezing remains and penetrates the ground, people could deal with a new set of challenges.

If the water table is still high, septic tanks might freeze and cause the ground to expand and move, possibly shifting house foundations, said emergency measures spokesperson Doug Caldwell.

The tanks could also crack, or their contents might freeze.

Emergency measures is also emphasizing residents remain on the top of the mould situation, look for spores and dry out their homes to prevent mould growth.

“It’s vital people start drying out their homes now because they can’t decontaminate until their home is perfectly dry,” said Caldwell.

“If people are diligent in removing the moistened materials and allowing air in there, it’s to their advantage to do it now because it’ll save a whole lot of work and probably some money down the road.”

Levels in the Marsh, Tagish and Bennett lakes are 48 centimetres below the August 14 record setting level, but still about seven centimetres above the 2004 peak of about 656.78 metres.

A meeting will be held in the community centre at Marsh Lake on Thursday.

Flood-affected residents can get information on short-term clean up, long-term flood-damage mitigation and financial assistance.

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