The Flood Homes With Hope coalition is offering free carbon-monoxide detectors to residents whose homes suffered damage in last summer's flash floods.
Officials note that many residents with homes that suffered water damage are reporting problems with their furnaces and boilers, which could lead to deadly carbon monoxide buildup.
The carbon-monoxide detectors are available free for flood survivors by calling at (218) 499-9480 or going to floodhomeswithhope.org.
"We want people to be safe, and having a working carbon-monoxide detector is one important step," said Dean Minardi, regional supervisor of Lutheran Social Services disaster case managers.
The case managers have worked with a number of residents whose furnaces appeared to work after the flood but later were discovered to have failed during the intense cold. In several cases, residents have been forced out of their homes by small fires or carbon monoxide.
Experts say furnaces and boilers that have been submerged in floodwaters should be replaced. Damage to electrical systems could cause them to malfunction or catch fire, and there may be hidden contamination in the housing, insulation or ductwork.
Flood Homes With Hope is made up of several agencies that help flood survivors rebuild their homes and lives after last year's rains and floods, with offices in Moose Lake, Cloquet, Superior and Duluth. They are working with more than 300 active cases.
The carbon-monoxide detectors were donated by the Kidde Corp., with additional detectors purchased through donations from the Salvation Army and the Northeast Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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