Photo: Flooding in Rockport, Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Residents in Houston need to take precautions, as testing of the flood waters left by Hurricane Harvey came back showing bacteria and toxic matter abundant in the homes devastated by the storm.
It is not clear how far the toxic waters have spread but Fire Chief Samuel Peña of Houston said over the weekend that there had been breaches at numerous waste treatment plants. The Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that 40 of 1,219 such plants in the area were not working. According to the New York Times, the results of testing have been worrisome.
Water flowing down Briarhills Parkway in the Houston Energy Corridor contained Escherichia coli, a measure of fecal contamination, at a level more than four times that considered safe. In the Clayton Homes public housing development downtown, along the Buffalo Bayou, scientists found what they considered astonishingly high levels of E. coli in standing water in one family’s living room — levels 135 times those considered safe — as well as elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals in sediment from the floodwaters in the kitchen.- The New York Times
“There’s pretty clearly sewage contamination, and it’s more concentrated inside the home than outside the home,” said Lauren Stadler, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University who participated in The Times’s research. “It suggests to me that conditions inside the home are more ideal for bacteria to grow and concentrate. It’s warmer and the water has stagnated for days and days. I know some kids were playing in the floodwater outside those places. That’s concerning to me.”
Residents and medical professionals are becoming increasingly concerned as well. Many have said they are seeing infections that have more than likely resulted from exposure to the bacteria contaminated floodwaters.
Dr. Beau Briese, an emergency room physician at Houston Methodist Hospital, said he had seen a doubling in the number of cases of cellulitis (reddened bacterial skin infections) since the storm. He said it was a more modest increase than he had expected, and that the infections had been successfully treated with antibiotics.
Dr. David Persse, the chief medical officer of Houston, said that those residents who are caring for children, the elderly, and those with immune disorders should try to keep out of homes until they have been cleaned of the toxins from the flooding. “Everybody has to consider the flood water contaminated,” Dr. Persse said. He also warned residents to avoid letting cuts and scrapes come into contact with the floodwaters, which can cause an infection which could require antibiotics to treat.
Forty-nine year old, Brad Greer developed two scabby infections on each one of his legs where his rain boots had irritated his skin. Even though he took antibiotics, he said, he started feeling lightheaded and weak as he and his brother-in-law tried to move possessions from Mr. Greer’s flooded home. He went to the emergency room at Houston Methodist, where he was put on an intravenous drip and given another antibiotic prescription. Mr. Greer said swimming pools around his neighborhood are rank. “All the pools are just giant toilets you’re unable to flush,” he said.
Many Houston residents appeared unaware of the contamination of the floodwater in their homes while others have reported a disturbing “funky gunk” smell but did not know that the mold and water could be toxic.
yes, the water in the homes have catfish in them too?
they are lying, just go ahead and drink the sewer water. it is better than mexican tap water.
This is why we prep: http://www.businessinsider.com/hurricane-irma-us-virgin-islands-damage-2017-9
Did you expect anything else?
I’m sure the mayor of Houston will fix this problem with his 9% “temporary” property tax increase. (SARCASM)
Menzo, I’ll bet a huge portion of Houston won’t get rebuilt. That libturd idiot mayor is going to lose more of his tax base than he thinks. And he thinks he can pass a tax increase in the aftermath of one of the worst hurricanes in history struck his city? GMAFB!
Heck, this story just touched on one aspect of water contamination. Every gas station that got flooded in addition to every residence and business that chemicals (including household chemicals) contaminated the water.
How could you expect anything else with the sewers overwhelmed, visible oil slicks and all the rotting stuff in the water? If toxins were not found that would be news.
Texan, no surpirses there especially with so many chemical plants in the area. I think it’s a safe bet that a huge part of Houston won’t get rebuilt. IMHO it would be a total waste of money and effort.
People will learn the hard way that some areas just aren’t suitable for living.
Bacteria and Toxic in the water, well DUHHHHH.
That seems to happen when ya crap in your own backyard…..
that’s the exact words I planned on posting.
Anyone taking antibiotics needs to replenish good bacteria in their gut. The gut is where the brain begins. The gut is most of the immune system. Take probiotics, eat foods like Fage Greek Yogurt, drink probiotic beverages, eat fermented foods. Eat raw garlic.
Take household items outside and use the sun as a disinfectant. Wear surgical gloves. Discard them frequently. Use Clorox to clean and sanitize. Clorox wipes are useful for cleaning small items. Change the pail of water frequently when washing walls and floors.
Get to work Houston. Our hearts are with you.
Very good advice on the probiotics! Another super-booster that people can add is turmeric (with black pepper to activate and make the curcumin more bioavailable). It tastes gross if you use too much, but i’ve found that half to one tsp to a can of chicken soup to be tolerable, and it works! For external wounds, i’ve used yarrow (on a decapitated thumb) and plaintain (deep slice while butchering and couldn’t find yarrow) to quel bloodflow and – most importantly – prevent infection! On my livestock, i use organic unpasteurized honey, since they seem to always get their bandages off one way or another. One chicken had exposed lung tissue from a predeator attack – the honey in the wound and the turmeric in her food fixed her right up!
The Houston area is the US petrochemical capital. Maybe the petrochemical capital of the world. We’re doomed!
It is a monster mess. God only knows what diseases are going to be growing like wild fire! Jesus, this is very concerning. This s how zombie shit is started folks, seriously…think about it.
A large number of Houston residents are Katrina refugees. Most will take the .gov freebies (remember the $2500 prepaid cards?) and go squat somewhere else, then proceed to destroy that area.
Yep, just like every other flood.
This is absolutely shocking!
How could toxins possibly get in rain water?
It was mentioned in a previous “Hurricane Harvey” thread that there were unusually high amounts of the toxic chemical Benzene, as well as high amounts of e.Coli in a wide variety of flood water samples taken across affected areas, including flood water that made its way into homes.
When I watched the news I saw people wading through the flood waters and as an RN knew that can’t be good. Benzene is a known carcinogenic which can enter the bloodstream through the skin because it is also known that Benzene molecules are small enough to pass though all layers of skin and therefore enter the bloodstream, damaging the immune system, our main defense against disease.
This weakening of the immune system, aside from causing various serious illnesses, allows cancer/HIV, and other incurable diseases to set in.
My house got flooded by the Army Corps of Engineers dumping Addicks Reservoir after Hurricane Harvey had gone by. We were among the original residents of my subdivision, Concord Bridge, beginning in 1986 — with no flooding problems ever.
My husband with Parkinson’s and I were evacuated by guys with a raised pickup truck on Tuesday the 29th around 2:30 PM… after being promised rescue twice over phone by the sheriff’s department. The house took in about a foot of water. It was a solid week before I could get into the house to do anything. I had to pack away a 20-year jewelry business… I found that the stones that had been in the flood water… really caustic water… lost their polish. Soft selenite was eaten away by close to a millimeter. This isn’t normal.