"Storm washed organic matter and pollutants into waterways, also signaling potentially serious environmental effects to come".
"Sewage pipelines overflowed into waterways. Toppled portable toilets spilled into floodwaters. Gasoline and motor oil leaked from partly submerged vehicles. Downed trees have started decomposing on waterlogged roads.
Dave Tomasko, director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, described several such scenes as he visited North Port and other locations in Sarasota County, Fla. His job was to collect data to determine whether the water is safe for people to enter. For now, he concluded, residents should stay away.
“What’s in the water is pretty gross. Our bays look like root beer right now,” Tomasko said. “It smells terrible.”
Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm, left scars not only on the land but also in the water. The storm’s winds and excessive rain washed leaves, organic matter and contaminants into streams and the bays, signaling the beginning of serious environmental effects that could emerge. Researchers say the degraded water quality could damage aquatic ecosystems for weeks, months or longer and pose a danger to human health in the short term. Images and videos from space captured the extent of the runoff."
Kasha Patel reports for the Washington Post October 5, 2022.
"Ian Is Probably Florida’s Deadliest Hurricane Since 1935. Most Victims Drowned." (Washington Post)
"Biden And DeSantis Put Political Rivalry Aside – For Now – As President Tours Hurricane Damage" (CNN)