What's in the floodwater? A lot of health hazards, experts say

Akilah Davis Image
Thursday, September 20, 2018

SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Floodwaters are starting to recede across North Carolina, but many are dealing with the aftermath of the storm. Murky floodwaters have crept into communities and homes in the Sandhills, and experts are warning that the water is toxic enough to send those who touch it to the emergency room.

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"Varnish, nail polish remover, paint, animal waste or human waste can potentially be in the water," said Cumberland County Deputy Health Director Rod Jenkins. "You could get a very nasty stomach ache. You could get the flu and a number of other ailments."

Jenkins said you should neither touch nor allow your children to play in flood waters. It could cause your immune system to shut down.

"Stay safe and stay away from the water," said Jenkins.

If you are going back to a flooded home, the first thing you should do is clean.

"Just make sure that you use a combination of a quarter bleach to a gallon of water, Jenkins said, "and that should suffice."