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Murky Flood Waters May Prove Dangerous

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Dirty water may be a sign of sediment, and maybe worse
RALEIGH — As flood waters move downstream, all sorts of nasty ingredients arecollected along the way. State leaders want you to beware. If you have achoice, you should choose to stay far away from the dirty water.

Matt Pope left his Raleigh apartment just in time Thursday to get awayfrom the flood. His neighbor's car wasn't so lucky. It's still coveredin debris left behind by the dirty water.

"It was really dark brown water, and you could see stuff rolling around inthe parking lot," Pope recalls. "There was debris and big logs coming outof the woods."

It all came from a tiny creek. As it and countless other small waterwaysreturn to pre-storm levels, larger creeks and rivers are starting toswell.

Don Reuter, a spokesperson with the Department of Environmental, Healthand Natural Resources, says from the air, you could expect to see a discoloration of the Neuse River or of others rivers because a lot ofsediment and other things have made their way into the water.

It's the other things that might make you a little nervous. The rainwatercarried away untreated wastewater in about half a dozen towns, includingRaleigh, Cary and Rocky Mount. They're not sure how much. State workersare keeping an eye on bacteria levels, but they don't expect the waste tocause any problems.

Fortunately, Reuter says rainwater that gets into the streams generallydilutes enough not to become a health concern.

Still, you don't know what's floating around in the brown waters. The state says the best policy is to leave them alone until the levels andthe color return to normal.

Smithfield and Goldsboro expect the Neuse to crest sometime this weekend.They do not expect the water to spill over its banks.

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