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Why Floodwaters Can Be Hazardous

Diana Allen, Rock Island County Health Department

People should be careful about the dangers of flooding from the Mississippi River. The Rock Island County Health Department is reminding residents about safety issues when rivers flood. Natalie Spahn reports.

Sanitarian, Sheri Duhme, says many of the people affected know how to handle the problems.

"Most of these people have been living there for years. They love the river and they wouldn't trade it for anything. They know to get their water sampled and hopefully they're taking precautions when being in or around the floodwaters because you don't know what's in the water, and we always recommend staying out of the water for your health and safety.

People who own wells near the river should be cautious, and check to see if floodwaters top the well. If so, they should get a test kit from the Rock Island County Health Department to be tested for bacteria. It only costs ten dollars.

"Once the waters go down, we recommend they start pumping the water out on the surface with, you know just laying a hose out on the ground and pump it out for a couple hours a day for a week or two."

Duhme says people should not wade or play in floodwaters, especially if they have any cuts or other wounds. Keep children and pets away from the over-flowing rivers, and use bottled water for drinking and cooking. Boiling it will not properly de-contaminate it.