Katrina: E. Coli Bacteria in New Orleans Flood Water
Adding to the misery caused by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans officials have discovered the deadly E. Coli bacteria in the water that covers the city.
Floodwater in New Orleans is contaminated with E. coli bacteria, a city official told CNN Tuesday. The official in Mayor Ray Nagin’s office declined to be identified. E. coli comes from human and animal waste. The city’s sewage system has been out service as a result of the flooding.
Drinking water contaminated with E. coli can lead to serious illness and death if not properly treated.
The failures of the levee system after Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught left about 80 percent of the city flooded with water up to 20 feet deep — water that became a toxic mix of chemicals, garbage, human waste and human remains. Authorities have warned it will take weeks to drain the water covering much of the city.
This isn’t really surprising but does make the situation even worse.