Pig Manure Overflows NC Farms

(CNN) Even after a hurricane’s immediate threat of flooding goes away, North Carolina residents could face a host of potential health problems from the water brought by Hurricane Florence — and from what that water leaves behind.

In addition to the usual physical and mental challenges floodwater can typically bring, there is a potential problem for human health that involves some of the state’s key industries: hog farming and coal power generation.

Hog farms flooded out

An earthen dam surrounding a hog lagoon was breached by flood waters in Duplin County and in Sampson County, according to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCSEQ) Secretary Michael Regan.

Hog or swine lagoons are human-made pits or dugouts that store animal waste.

The lagoons are meant to help reduce pollution and the North Carolina Pork Council says its “rare” for lagoons to overflow, but there are reports of at least seven lagoon “over tops,” as they are also known, in Jones and Pender Counties, the department said.

There are four reports from the Department of Environmental Quality of hog lagoons being inundated by nearby bodies of water as well in Jones County as of noon on Tuesday.

The North Carolina Pork Council said that the lagoon breach in Duplin County was at a small farm and an on-site inspection showed “that solids remained in the lagoon.”

There was no mention if there were any solids being released from the four additional lagoons that were inundated by floodwaters. It said the other 3,000 lagoons in the state are in good shape so far.

The Department of Environmental Quality will do inspections when they can get on location. The North Carolina Pork Council said it will also watch the situation closely.

“We remain concerned about the potential impact of these record-shattering floods,” the council said on their website … Read more.

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