Toxic waste a concern for Guerneville residents after flooding

Bay Area

GUERNEVILLE (KRON) — In Guerneville after the devastating flooding, there is a new worry. flood victims say, they are now concerned about toxic waste.

FEMA is not involved in the clean-up and there are fears toxic trash will not be cleaned up for a very long time, making things unhealthy for people.

Guerneville residents are begging for help in Washington — hoping that federal funds can be used for this disastrous situation and the cleanup that comes with it.

Chairs, bureaus, tables — you name it, you can probably see it in piles of ruined debris in Guerneville. Items molded in some cases and destroyed in other cases by the recent flooding — items, that could be toxic, just sitting on the streets.

“My fear is that we’re forgotten about. I think the frustration can be felt when you speak to anyone who’s lost anything up here,” said Guerneville resident Jennifer Otten.

Some residents living in these areas were told by recology workers that they wouldn’t be coming back to clean up additional items, saying that it would be the residents job to get it hauled away.

“It’s kind of a toxic situation and they need to get this stuff off of the streets and out of the way,” she said.

Federal emergency disaster relief has not been ordered even though it was granted in past floods that were not statistically as devastating.

Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins says there is a plan in place.

If you are unable to clear your debris, you can go to the local assistance center in Guerneville on Main Street. There are now two volunteer groups hauling away personal items.

Otten says the longer these items sit the more of an impact this will have on the area.

“It’s gonna ruin mother nature, take the shine off a beautiful town that people use for vacation,” Otten said.

The supervisor again says that everyone is welcome to come to the local assistance center in Guerneville. 

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