Hurricane Ian has caused widespread destructionIn Florida, much of the state is submerged in several feet of water , With floodwaters still raging, officials have warned residents to stay indoors and avoid getting into it at all costs – and dangerous wildlife is a big reason.
“Flood water is dangerous,” Collier County Gov. tweeted Thursday afternoon. “We have received reports of sewage, alligators and snakes in flood waters in our community. Please stay away.”
While those reports have not been confirmed by CBS News, video footage has circulated that demonstrates these risks. A local NBC affiliate reporter posted a Video On Thursday, an alligator was shown swimming in floodwaters in Lake County that looked like it was “about 9,10 feet”. The local fire chief had previously warned about animals in flood waters, saying the creatures would generally not like to “come out of the swamp”.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said Tuesday that “big storms cause wildlife to become more active.”
“You may be more likely to see crocodiles, snakes and bears, so remember to be vigilant and give them space,” the department said in a Facebook post. It advised anyone coming across wild animals to report it to the department.
Most of the state saw significant flooding, and record-breaking water levels were expected in some areas, even inland.
“The amount of water that is increasing, and will continue to increase today, even as the storm is passing, is basically a 500-year flood event,” Governor Ron DeSantis said Thursday morning. “…some flooding that you’re going to see in areas hundreds of miles from where this landslide is going to set records.”
Flood waters can increase the risk of drowning, and the Florida Department of Emergency Management warns that the water may be contaminated and filled with dangerous debris. Underground or fallen power lines, which have been reported across the state in Ian’s view, can electric charge Water – a potentially fatal danger.
Emergency officials urged people not to drive along flooded roadways, noting that “nearly half of all people killed in floods are those who try to drive in flooded areas.” Don’t drive around barricades, and if your vehicle stops, they recommend leaving it immediately.
For areas hardest hit by storm damage and flooding, Division Director Kevin Guthrie has repeatedly warned that it can be difficult for first responders to reach the scene of an emergency, depending on the level of destruction.
“Please be aware that first responders may not be able to immediately enter affected areas to assist you due to security threats,” he said. Told Wednesday evening.