Moldy Homes Reopening? - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Moldy Homes Reopening?

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Nearly three years after the flood of the Mouse River, some Minot homes are just now being cleaned up and rebuilt.

But some homeowners say the flooded homes that had been untouched until now - what some call zombie homes - are not necessarily getting the right work done.

Bonnie Campo talked with one concerned homeowner, and a health professional about the dangers of living in a house that hasn't been properly cleaned.

 

Pastor Nathan Mugaas lives here on 9th street. From his front porch he can see at least 5 zombie homes, most of those are rental properties that are now owned by banks, and will soon be on the market. His biggest concern-- are they safe?

(Nathan Mugaas, Home Owner) "The opportunities for mold and all the fecal dust and all the different things that came with that flood water, they just haven't had the opportunity to be cleaned out. Then, these landlords are going to rent them to unsuspecting folks who are going to come in, and think they are getting this nice good-looking house, but inside there are all kinds of health hazards."

Because of the extreme moisture and heat, mold was everywhere after the flood. Today, if homes are not properly sanitized or reconstructed mold can still exist in little tiny spores, waiting until Summer to germinate.

(Jeffery Verhey, Doctor) "I would say though that is you are renting a home, and it's been in the flood zone, and you have any suspicion that there's mold, or it smells musty, or that it just doesn't seem like your air quality is a good as it should be, then you should contact your landlord. But, if you're having symptoms where you're coughing, short of breath, having some very serious symptoms, then you need to have home checked out, especially if you suspect that it's a mold home."

Nathan Mugaas said the effects of unsanitized homes surround him. He even called First District Health, but they told Mugaas they can only condemn a property if the inquiring resident can smell the decaying home from inside their own house with the doors, and windows shut.

(Nathan Mugaas, Property Owner) "I as a property owner that has invested a lot to stay in the community of Minot, I have rights too, and really it's up to the city to protect those rights for me cause there's not much I can do about my neighbors house, but there is city can do through new ordinances, and trying to get some action from these owners."

The city council will soon hear from more disgruntled home owners who have started a petition because they are also fed up with Minot's abandoned zombie homes. Bonnie Campo, KX News.

Tomorrow, Bonnie will introduce us to a local woman collecting petition signatures hoping to get the city to take action to clean up or remove the "zombie homes" in Minot.

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