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Ask The Advocate: Yuck! Can I still use it after the flood? Apology from BRAF on parking garage |

Ask The Advocate: Yuck! Can I still use it after the flood? Apology from BRAF on parking garage

Is it safe to use a solid wood table that was inundated in the August 2016 flood? I have heard people say that because the wood is porous it will always be subject to being a site for mold growth. I have also heard a similar statement regarding cast iron skillets and pots that were inundated in the flood. I believe there are ways to restore these items.

We checked with Claudette Hanks Reichel, a professor and housing specialist with the LSU Agricultural Center and director of the LaHouse Resource Center.


Reichel says, “Mold does not penetrate solid wood but grows only on the surface, and only if there is enough moisture to support growth. Any visible mold should be cleaned off (outdoors) with a nonphosphate cleaner, then dry it quickly and thoroughly, but not in direct sunlight. Flooded furniture may need to be stripped and refinished if the finish remains cloudy or is damaged.

“All flooded cookware should be disinfected as a precaution against bacteria and other pathogens in floodwater — although they are surely dead by now if the cookware has been dry for a long time. Don’t use bleach solutions on metals since it can be corrosive. Instead, disinfect metal cookware by boiling in water for 10 minutes.

“Iron cookware does have some surface pores and is prone to rust but can be restored and used. It should be washed using a stiff brush and scouring powder, then scoured with steel wool, to remove rust and any residue, then washed with dish detergent and rinsed in hot water. Once clean, season the iron cookware: Warm the pans for 15 minutes in a 200 degree oven, remove from oven and rub in (with paper towels) a generous amount of flaxseed oil, place upside down in a cold oven and heat it at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours. Flaxseed oil provides a more durable seasoning than other edible oils.”

Apology on BRAF parking garage

On July 4, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation-owned parking garage at Third and Convention streets was packed with the vehicles for the riverfront fireworks. But the fun turned to frustration when these visitors, some with small children, were effectively held captive in the fume-filled garage for upward to an hour and a half.

For years, parking fees were collected by an attendant who activated the exit gates upon payment. But when BRAF took over, it replaced the attendant with an ATM-type machine, which accepts credit cards but no cash. Surely management should have foreseen the need for one or two attendants on such a night. Or could have collected a set fee upon entry so there would be clear sailing on exit.

“First, we apologize for what happened and have instituted a new system to improve how the garage works,” says Mukul Verma, director of communications for BRAF.

“On that day, our employee rushed away to assist in an emergency situation where someone had suffered a stroke at one of our nearby properties. So when one motorist couldn’t exit the garage, there was no one to open the gate, causing a backup.

“Commercial Properties Realty Trust, which manages the Foundation’s real estate assets, will improve operations when there is a large demand on the garage from downtown events.

“Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and pledge to do better next time.”

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off
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