Tropical Depression Harvey Leaves Hazardous Flood Waters Behind
THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2017 AS OF 10:00 AM CDT
Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression, and is continuing to move inland across the Southeast U.S. As the rainfall slows in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, residents are left with hazardous flood waters and potential for flash floods.
HAZARDS AND HEALTH RISKS IN FLOOD WATER
According to the NOAA National Hurricane Center, Harvey has brought over 50 inches of rainfall to some communities in Texas. With the heavy rains and flooding, areas including Houston have accumulated high levels of standing flood waters. The National Weather Service has posted preliminary guidance on when flood waters might begin to recede from Houston and areas around Southeast Texas:
As discussed in the Scientific American, for areas like Houston, the draining of flood waters could be slow, posing safety and health risks to the local residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that flood waters cause many health risks including exposure to “infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.” As discussed by New York Times writers Hiroko Tabuchi and Shelia Kaplan, Houston faces particularly hazardous flood water since toxic chemical runoff due to proximity to refineries and Superfund sites.
The CDC has also published the list below of tips for flood water safety:
- FEMA Assistance: Link
- If entering a flooded area or returning to a flooded property, consult the Red Cross Returning Home Checklist
- Texas Sheltering Information: Link
- Louisiana Sheltering Information: here and here
- Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe: link
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