Widespread mould a new problem for flood-weary Grand Forks residents

Click to play video 'Grand Forks residents fight growing mould problem' Grand Forks residents fight growing mould problem
Flooding has receded, but it doesn't mean Grand Forks residents are out of the woods yet. Some residents are facing a growing mould problem as they clean out their homes. Jules Knox reports. – Jun 10, 2018

Flooding fears in Grand Forks are being replaced by mushrooming mould issues.

Some furniture and walls in Sandra Fry’s home have mould creeping up the walls.

“If it gets fuzzy they say there are spores,” Fry said. “This is pretty fuzzy.”

READ MORE: Grand Forks homes uninhabitable, cleanup continues

She’s been told by an environmental specialist that her walls have been contaminated through to the outdoor siding.

The future of the home is unknown, Fry said. She’s waiting for her insurance company to decide how to proceed.

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In the meantime, she’s found another place to stay.

Many residents are worried about the possible long-term health effects of the flooding and mould.

“Maybe you’re not getting sick right away, but the first time I opened up the door, it looked like there was a little fire there,” Grand Forks resident Petra Nielsen said.

“And we looked closer, and it was actually spores off the mould in the air like mist.”

READ MORE: B.C. flooding news Friday: military rolls into Grand Forks

A month after the flooding, many homes in Grand Forks are stripped back to bare bones as belongings, wood, and furniture are tossed in the trash.

Grand Forks resident Mel Pulvermacher is calling for something to be done to protect properties next year.

“I would feel better if they would say, ‘Yes, we’re going to build a dike, and yes we’re going to start tomorrow, and yes we’re going to do this, and yes we’re going to do that,” he said. “Don’t you think some of that is possible? Surely there’s somebody up there that can make a decision.”

“You’ve got one year. What happens next year? You can’t build a dike in the middle of winter very well,” he added.

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READ MORE: Grand Forks prepares for second wave of flooding while assessing damages

On Sunday, the emergency operations centre could not be reached for an update.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has arranged for local contractors to pick up flood waste from the curb, and the province is covering tipping fees.

A community meeting in Grand Forks is scheduled for Wednesday.