Aftermath of Hurricane Irene: Injuries, Health Risks, and Deaths

As of Monday August 29, 2011, Hurricane Irene took the lives of at least 38 individuals from 11 different states. One death was due to a tree falling on an 89 year-old woman, and another man from the same state was killed when his canoe capsized as he was floating down a flooded street. Other deaths that happened were due to rough waves, being electrocuted, being stuck in a flooded car, downing in a cottage, and a car accident after the traffic lights went ou 

Fallen trees have caused the most injuries, but there is also a big concern for all the accidents that could happen as a result of treacherous roads and traffic lights going out. As people go down the flood waters, they are also at risk of various objects invisible to the eye. The floodwaters are also not safe. Sewers with raw sewage are being mixed with the floodwater which contains bacteria, toxins, and parasites. A long term health risk is not having useable drinking and cleaning water. People may die as a result of dehydration in the near future. People are being encouraged to avoid the floodwater, to not drink any tap water that appears discolored, to throw out any food that has not been refrigerated due to the power outages, and to avoid using barbeques and generators because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

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