Agape Center, Experts Help with Mold Removal

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Many people in Columbia County continue to deal with damage from the September flood.

One of the biggest problems for a homeowner in Orangeville is mold.

Amber Johnson has what environmental experts call severe mold problems in her basement and in the adjoining apartment where her elderly father-in-law lives.

With help from The Agape Center in Bloomsburg and a mold removal company, Johnson and her family are getting the help they need.

Johnson's house in Orangeville had around four feet of water inside after the September flood. She said since then, mold has become a big problem.

"We not only have it in the basement, but in the dwelling of the house, also," Johnson said.

She added FEMA representatives told her to clean the mold with bleach, but the problem got out of control in the basement and in the adjoining apartment where her elderly father-in-law lives.

Johnson contacted The Agape Center which has done a lot of work to help flood victims in Columbia County. The center put her in touch with a company from Luzerne County that can get rid of the mold.

"Even though the temperatures are below 50 degrees the mold continues to grow and it's still a hazard," said Jeff Miller, owner of JMSI Environmental Corporation in Swoyersville. He explained his company has removed mold in several homes in flood-damaged areas. "They're going to use HEPA-vacuums to remove the mold from the wood that's been contaminated and then treat it with an anti-microbial."

Miller said the mold removal process costs just under $5,000. The Agape center is paying for $2,900 through a grant. JMSI is paying for the rest.

"I don't know how we would have done it ourselves. I don't think we could have done it ourselves. It's somewhat like a money pit. You put so much money into it because you could never do it right," Johnson added.

Miller expects it will take the rest of the week to clean the mold at Johnson's house in Orangeville.