Kentucky Division of Water Warns of Dangers Associated with Floodwater

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 4, 2015) – As flooding conditions persist in some areas of western Kentucky resulting from widespread rainfall in the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi river basins over the past several weeks, the Kentucky Division of Water urges residents to take heed of local flood warnings and to be aware of the dangers associated with floodwater.

Avoid contact with floodwater. Whether on foot or in a vehicle, do not attempt to cross flooded roads or enter flooded areas. The depths of floodwaters are difficult to determine and floodwater typically moves much faster than it appears. Floodwaters may also carry large debris, which can cause injury.

Drowning, injury, and property loss are not the only risks that floodwaters present. During heavy rains, sanitary sewers may overflow and leak into floodwaters. Avoid contact with floodwater due to potential contamination with raw sewage and other hazardous substances. Avoid swimming and boating in floodwaters, and do not allow children or pets to wade or play in floodwaters.

Floodwaters also pose the danger of electrical shock. Downed wires pose a serious electrical hazard in flooded areas. It is important to stay out of floodwaters until professional crews arrive and address hazards.

Do not consume food or water that has been exposed to floodwaters. Whether you have a well, spring, or city water, the water system may have been contaminated by floodwaters. Consumption of contaminated food or water can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems, including E. coli infection. If you believe your water well, spring, or other system has been affected by floodwaters, have your water tested by a professional.

Should you encounter roadway flooding or other transportation-related issues due to flooding, call the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s toll free line 877-FOR-KYTC or the direct Transportation Operations Center (TOC) line 502-564-2080.

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