Flood waters pose numeours health and safety risks in storms. They include dangers to drivers, contamination and the risk of deadly shocks near electricity.
Public health officials are urging the public to take the following precautions:
- Contamination: Flood waters may contain fecal material, bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants. Avoid contact with flood waters. Children playing in contaminated standing water can become sick or be bitten by snakes or floating insects. Discourage children from playing in flooded areas. Wash off thoroughly after contact.
- Flooded roads: During flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water. The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat. People should avoid driving in moving water, regardless of the size of their vehicle. Road surfaces become obscured, and drivers can unknowingly steer into a deep body of water, such as a canal or pond.
- Electrical shocks: Electricity from streetlights and power poles may be active through standing water, causing a deadly shock to anyone coming in contact with it.
- Tainted drinking water: Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the flood-affected area is safe to drink. If your public water system is affected, a boil water notice will likely be issued for your area. Individuals with private wells should take precautions. If your well is in a flooded area, your water may contain disease-causing organisms and may not be safe to drink.