In 2018, Hurricane Florence not only ripped through North Carolina homes, businesses and farms, but it also unleashed thousands of cubic feet of waste.

In an article published by Bloomberg on Sept. 5, Environment North Carolina State Director Drew Ball discussed the threat posed by the combination of powerful hurricanes and massive amounts of hog waste. North Carolina is the second-largest pork-producing state, with pools of waste stored where hurricanes can do some serious damage. Despite the waste unleashed by Florence, the state took few preventative measures before Hurricane Dorian, according to Drew.

Before Dorian hit, Drew warned, “We could have severe water contamination, we could have fish kills, we could have increased levels of fecal matter in the water making people sick.”

Fortunately, Dorian weakened offshore. But counting on luck is not a prudent strategy for protecting the state's drinking water supplies against the next hurricane and the hog waste lagoons that may lie in its path.

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Photo: Vanguard Farms Lagoon. Credit: Steve via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0.