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Toxic Flood Residue Is Still Dangerous

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A Luzerne County man cleans up, post-flooding

The Susquehanna River is back within its banks in Pennsylvania, but the toxic residue it left behind is still deadly.
Hundreds of waste water stations were overwhelmed by last week’s flood waters, inundating the river with sewage and other chemicals. As the Times-Tribune reports, this has led to a major environmental threat:

Toxic pollution remains among key post-flood health and environmental concerns throughout the region, while officials continue to probe the fume-related death of a Luzerne County woman.
In flood-ravaged West Pittston, an elderly woman was found dead in her sister’s basement on Friday after apparently inhaling an unknown gas that is believed to have been spawned because of the “high water event” in the Wyoming Valley, Luzerne County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Lisman said Monday.
“That’s why we’re concerned with getting it out in the media,” Mr. Lisman said. “Be careful.”
Federal and state environmental officials are sampling the air in the basement and upstairs in the home after preliminary tests revealed there was very little oxygen, far less than needed to sustain life, in the basement of the River Shores Court home where Carol Mikols, 62, of Exeter, died.

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