Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Harvey floodwater pose significant health threat

Even though it’s been three weeks since Hurricane Harvey blasted into Texas and dropped an astounding 50 inches of rain, we are still learning about the aftermath of this damaging storm.  There are some lessons here to be learned by us here in the Southeast as we deal with the clean-up from Hurricane Irma, too.

Weather Underground has a concerning post here about health issues caused by the floodwater from Harvey.  In the case of Texas it was mostly freshwater flooding from heavy rain,while here in the Southeast it is a combination of salty storm surge water along the coasts mixed with freshwater flooding from 10-15 inches of rain in some locations in Florida.  Texas also has a lot of chemical industries which added to the pollution in the water, but with animal production and heavy use of fertilizer in agriculture in the Southeast, we may also see contamination of flooded areas and potential health risks from Irma.  We are also likely to see an increase in mosquitoes from all of the standing water left behind by the storm.

Source: Andrea Booher, FEMA via Commons Wikimedia