This year will be remembered by many in the Kansas City area as the one overflowing with water problems.
It has not just been about the heavy rainfall that has saturated the ground so much that television news stations most months have constantly beeped and buzzed with weather alerts for severe thunderstorms and run screen crawlers, warning of flash floods. We’ve also seen an unusually high number of drownings.
Missouri has already had more drownings in 2015 than last year. As of July it is close to matching the 50 recorded in 2010, The Kansas City Star reports. Dry weather in Kansas has left that state with fewer drownings.
But this area’s water woes also have included multiple swimming pool outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in Johnson County and the Northland. Authorities report more than 50 confirmed and suspected cases in recent weeks.
The symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting. People with such symptoms have been cautioned to stay out of swimming pools. Fortunately, Labor Day usually marks the end of outdoor swimming season.
Crypto protozoa are the cause of the infection. The illness is spread by contact with the stool of infected people or animals, by consumption of contaminated food or water, and by contact with persons or animals with it. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t help kill it so don’t rely on them to stop it from spreading.
Kansas City area water problems are occurring during what happens to be National Preparedness Month. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency encouraged people during the first week to use social media to get more folks to prepare for floods.
People should protect their lives, livelihood and property. This year the theme is: “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”
From Sept. 6-12, the focus will be on wildfires; Sept. 13-19, hurricanes; and Sept. 20-26, power outages. Sept. 27-30 runs up to National PrepareAthon! Day on Sept. 30 when cities and counties nationwide plan communitywide events with schools, businesses, governments, churches, hospitals, individuals and families participating in preparedness drills and activities for hazards that are relevant to this area.
We can probably forget about preparing for hurricanes in the Midwest. But certainly authorities can substitute drills for a tornado or two for folks.
Doing an extra drill for floods certainly couldn’t hurt either.