It’s hot, but don’t swim in floodwaters to cool off

Don't swim in floodwaters to cool off

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois State Emergency Management Agency personnel are reminding people to not swim in floodwaters.

Floodwater may contain sewage, chemicals, debris or other toxic and hazardous material. The best way to protect yourself is to stay out of the water.

During past flooding events in the Heartland area, children and adults swam and played in floodwaters from the Mississippi River or in the river itself. Something they are urged not to do.

We met up with people in East Cape Girardeau, Ill. who were building a wall of sandbags behind their home on Saturday, June 29. The water on the other side of that wall appeared murky and dirty.

A resident there has to deal with stepping in floodwaters, but said she is equipped for it and stays safe.

"I have boots on, knee boots, and that usually keeps it off your skin," Marlene Freeman said. "Unless you fall. Then you are covered in it. Then you go in and take a nice shower."

She said the water is so dirty that she can't understand why anyone would want to purposely go in it.

"I don't understand why anyone would want to get in it," Freeman said. "If you have an open sore or something, you can get sick pretty quick. If you don't wash your hands and you put food in your mouth, you have all those germs going in your body."

She said she wouldn't even go near the water if she didn't have to build a sandbag wall to save her home.

"It's awful. You cannot hardly stand to go out there around it," she said. "From here, you can smell it. It doesn't smell good and I find dead everything in it out there."

Also, the State Emergency Management Agency said to not attempt to drive or walk in floodwater as well.

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