DHEC warning concerning floodwater dangers

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South Carolinas are cautioned about wading or playing in floodwaters resulting from the heavy rainfall in the state.

“We strongly warn residents to stay away from floodwaters and, to reduce the risk of infections and traumatic injuries including drowning, don’t swim, play or boat in the water,” said Jamie Blair, deputy director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Public Health Preparedness. “Water from flooding can carry viruses, bacteria, chemicals and other physical items picked up as it moves through storm water systems, across industrial sites, yards, roads and parking lots. These threats can cause serious illness and injury and should be avoided if at all possible.”
Blair offered specific tips for preventing illness and injury resulting from flooding, including:
  • Prevent children from playing in flooded areas. Rapidly rushing floodwaters pose a high risk for drowning.
  • Keep children from playing with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater until the toys can be cleaned/disinfected.
  • Wash children's hands frequently and always before meals.
  • Take care to protect open wounds from floodwaters.

Blair says flooding can also create situations in which animals, reptiles and insects can be more likely to come in contact with humans, resulting in bites and stings. If you have a reason that you must enter the floodwaters, be alert and try to avoid coming into contact.