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NOLA Official: E. Coli bacteria detected in floodwater

Two unidentified men walk with a boat in a flooded street in New Orleans September 6, 2005. Many residents of New Orleans who live in the few areas on high ground that escaped flood waters say they will defy official requests for them to abandon their homes. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Anyone left needs to get the hell out. I saw one man swimming in that filth last night, diving in to get water dropped off by the National Guard via helicopter. He grabbed the water and got back onto the front porch of his partially submerged house. (CNN):

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.

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, corpses and human waste.

E. coli comes from human and animal waste and can be found in untreated sewage. Drinking water contaminated with E. coli can lead to serious illness and death if not properly treated.

Authorities have warned it will take weeks to drain the water covering much of the city.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding