Floodwaters and Standing Water Can Be Hazardous
No matter how harmless it might appear, avoid wading or walking in floodwaters. All too often, danger lurks within and beneath floodwaters and standing water.
DHEC urges everyone to avoid area streams, rivers or the ocean for drinking, bathing or swimming due to the possibility of bacteria, waste water or other contaminants. Avoid wading through standing water due to the possibility of sharp objects, power lines or other hazardous debris that might be under the surface.
Follow these steps if you come into contact with floodwaters or standing waters:
- Avoid or limit direct contact.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap, especially before drinking and eating.
- Do not allow children to play in flood water or play with toys contaminated with floodwater.
- Report cuts or open wounds, and report all symptoms of illness. Keep vaccinations current.
NEVER drive through flooded roadways or around barricades. Road beds may be washed out under floodwaters. DON’T underestimate the force and power of fast-moving water. Flooding is the leading cause of severe weather-related deaths in the U.S. Most of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. And it only takes 12 to 18 inches of flowing water to carry away most vehicles including large SUVs. If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will likely not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. Play it smart, play it safe. Turn Around Don’t Drown. [FEMA]
Get more information on avoiding contact with floodwaters from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Also, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s page on risks associated with floodwaters and standing water.