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Hurricane Safety: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater

Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death?

Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries.

Here are six sicknesses you should beware of in the aftermath:

Diarrheal diseases

Drinking or eating anything that has come in contact with floodwaters can lead to cryptosporidiosis, E. coli or giardiasis. While cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are brought on by parasites, E. coli is caused by bacteria.

Symptoms from each include diarrhea, gas, nausea and vomiting. Cryptosporidiosis, however, can even be fatal for those with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer. 

Wound infections

Open wounds and rashes that are exposed to floodwater can cause tetanus or Vibrio vulnificus. Tetanus is a bacterial infection, and it can enter the body through breaks in the skin like a cut.

>> 10 tips to stay safe when returning home after a natural disaster

Vibrio vulnificus, another bacteria, can be contracted the same way. Many people become infected by consuming undercooked shellfish or exposing an injury to brackish or salt water.

Other illnesses 

People affected by flooded areas can also get trench foot. It occurs when your feet are wet for long periods of time. It can cause pain, swelling and numbness.

>> Read more trending news 

You should also be aware of chemical hazards from materials that may have spilled into the water. And be cautious of electrical hazards, since there are puddles that may be electrified due to fallen power lines.

Curious about other diseases you can catch? Take a look at the full list at CDC’s official website

Hurricane Florence: Michael Jordan to donate $2M to relief efforts

Charlotte Hornets chairman and NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan, along with the Hornets organization and the NBA, have announced that they’re working together with a number of community organizations to provide relief and support to the people affected by Hurricane Florence.

Jordan is donating $1 million each to The American Red Cross and The Foundation for the Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

>> On 'We share more than a state line': Panthers, local organizations unite in Florence relief efforts

“It’s truly devastating for me to see the damage that Hurricane Florence is doing to my beloved home state of North Carolina and to the surrounding areas,” Jordan said in a statement.

>> On Floodwaters of Florence put North Carolina dams under stress

The Hornets, in partnership with Food Lion will pack thousands of disaster food boxes Friday at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The boxes will be distributed across the Carolinas to provide meals to victims of Florence.

>> Read more trending news 

“The recovery effort will be massive, and it will take a long time to repair the damage and for families to get back on their feet,” said Jordan.

Fans are encouraged to visit here to make a donation.

“To all those affected, stay safe and know that we’re here to help,” Jordan said.

>> Hurricane Florence: Here's how you can help

Hornets and NBA merchandising partner Fanatics, have collaborated to create a T-shirt with the Hornets logo in the middle of North and South Carolina. The shirt features the phrase “Carolina Strong” and all the proceeds will be donated to the Foundation for the Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

Purchase a T-shirt here.

CNN's Anderson Cooper calls out Donald Trump Jr., debunks hurricane meme

Atlanta-based CNN is often dismissed as "fake news" by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Seeking to prove their point, some right-wing meme creators found a photo of Anderson Cooper in waist-deep floodwater, claiming he was exaggerating and staging shots during Hurricane Florence. 

>> On Florence's aftermath: The latest updates from the Carolinas

But the photo was from 2008 during Hurricane Ike in Texas, and Cooper was demonstrating the dangers of shifting depths of floodwaters. 

Cooper decided to address the issue in a nine-minute segment on his show Monday in part because the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., used the meme as fodder to malign CNN on Twitter.

While many people on Twitter used the images and tied them to Florence, Trump Jr. merely implied that this was fakery and designed to make his dad “look bad.” 

Cooper took umbrage to that, shading Trump Jr. by showing photos of him being an “outdoorsman” killing exotic wildlife but presuming he wasn’t in North Carolina helping in rescue efforts. 

>> Read more trending news 

Cooper then showed the 10-year-old video of himself in waist-deep water in a flooded area of Bridge City, Texas. He was demonstrating the various depths of water in a very small area. At one point, he even made fun of himself for doing this, but added that he didn’t want to be on the dry part of the road interfering with rescue operations. Cooper said he also wanted to show that water can go deep very quickly even just a few feet off a road, and many people die in hurricanes via drowning.

Cooper noted that his camera crew has to shoot on dry spots to keep the equipment from getting wet. And the tech person in the photo? He died last year, Cooper said. 

Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina

A Tennessee truck driver is being hailed as a hero after he rescued 64 shelter dogs and cats ahead of Hurricane Florence.

>> On Florence’s aftermath: The latest news from the Carolinas

According to the Greenvale News, Tony Alsup, 51, from Greenback, Tennessee, drove a school bus to South Carolina last week as the deadly storm strengthened in the Atlantic. Once there, he stopped in Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon and North Myrtle Beach, picking up 53 dogs and 11 cats from area animal shelters.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup, of Tony's Emergency Animal Rescue and Shelter, told the Greenvale News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”

Related: Hurricane Florence: Coast Guard rescues beagles by boatful in floodwater

He drove them to a shelter in Foley, Alabama, which will distribute the animals to other shelters across the nation, the newspaper reported

Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown praised Alsup in a Facebook post Tuesday.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"It's all true," the post said of Alsup, who also has saved animals from hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. "Tony swooped in at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning to pick up our 'leftovers' – the dogs with blocky heads, the ones with heartworm. The ones no one else will ever take. And he got them to safety. Not the most conventional evacuation, but surely the one with the most heart."

>> See the post here

Read more here.

Hurricane Florence aftermath: 1-year-old dies after vehicle flooded by rising waters

Officials on Monday morning recovered the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

>> Read more trending news 

Update 10:30 a.m. EDT Sept. 17: Sheriff’s deputies in Union County confirmed in a Facebook post Monday morning that searchers had found the body of Kaiden Lee-Welch.

“Our thoughts and prayers (are with) the little boy’s family and all the search team members and law enforcement officers who helped in this matter,” deputies said. “Very sad situation.”

>> Watch the news report here

Original report: According to WSOC-TV, emergency personnel in Union County, North Carolina, responded Sunday night to a vehicle trapped in flooded water on Highway 218 at Richardson Creek near New Salem. An adult was rescued and taken to a hospital, but a child was missing, officials said.

>> On Tracking Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

The Union County Sheriff's Office identified the child as Kaiden Lee Welch in a Facebook post Monday morning.

>> See the Facebook post here

"Detectives believe the child and his mother were traveling east on N.C. 218 going toward Wadesboro," the post said. "The mother drove around the barricades on N.C. 218 and continued traveling east until her vehicle encountered rushing water flowing across the road. Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees. She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water."

The post said search and rescue teams looked for Kaiden for several hours Sunday night but were unable to find him.

Hurricane Florence aftermath: Journalists rescue woman from car stuck in floodwaters

They were in the right place at the right time

>> Watch the news report here

>> On Tracking Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

Reporter Chris Jose and photojournalist Brandon Bryant with Atlanta's WSB-TV, which is owned by Cox Media Group, have been in South Carolina covering what is now tropical depression Florence. The two are making their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cover the flooding and damage left by the storm there. 

>> On 3-month-old the latest death due to Florence. Here's what we know about the victims

They were driving up Interstate 95 when they found the roadway flooded over around Latta, South Carolina. 

Jose said they decided to take some of the back country roads to get around the flooding when they ran across a woman who was stuck inside her car, with floodwater rapidly rising up around it. 

>> On Convoy of Care: Here's how you can help Hurricane Florence victims

The two said the woman was yelling, "Help me! Help me!” The area was under a tornado warning, adding to the already dangerous situation. 

Knowing they had to do something, Jose said he drove their SUV as far as they could into the water without getting stuck and Bryant, wearing a pair of waders, got out into the water, which was about waist-deep.

When Bryant got to the woman’s car, he found Barbara Flanagan inside, praying. 

"It just pulled me in and I couldn’t stop it. I had my foot on the brake, but it wouldn’t stop," Flanagan said. 

>> On Looters clean out Family Dollar amid storm damage

Bryant said he told Flanagan he was going to open the door and that water was going to come flooding in, be she was going to be alright. 

He got the door open and was able to grab the woman and help her out her car. 

"I couldn't leave you out there," Bryant told the woman. “My heart wouldn’t allow me.”

>> On Disaster relief organization offering help as Florence moves through

As they made their way through the floodwaters, Flanagan told Bryant she was from Georgia and was a worker with the USDA, who was responding to the area for storm relief. 

She said some of her coworkers had taken the same route shortly before her and the road was clear. 

>> Read more trending news 

"Looks can be deceiving," Flanagan told Jose. "Don’t go through the water."

A man in a pickup truck pulled up behind the WSB-TV crew’s SUV and offered to help get the woman’s car out of the floodwater. The woman’s car was still able to run, despite the high water. 

Hurricane Florence: Watch these must-see livestreams of the Carolina coast

As Hurricane Florence nears the U.S., the Category 2 storm already is causing heavy rain, strong winds, choppy waters and impressive waves along the Carolina coast.

>> On Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

Want to see the impressive surf for yourself? Check out these four must-see livestreams:

>> Read more trending news 

1. Cape Fear, North Carolina 2. Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina 3. Carolina Beach, South Carolina 4. Outer Banks, North Carolina

Hurricane Florence: Evacuating a horse? This site can help you find a stable

Families are under evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Florence, and that means taking their pets, too. But when your pet is a horse, things get a bit more difficult. 

>> Watch the news report here

WSB-TV’s Wendy Corona met with a woman who is stepping in to make it easier. 

“If someone had two horses and brought them, they could go here,” co-creator Jenny Fudge said as she showed WSB-TV the paddocks where she could take in horses that needed to get out of the path of Hurricane Florence.

>> On Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

“The travel situation is complicated, and the sooner they can get out, the better,” Fudge said.

Imagine moving a 1,000-pound horse into a 6-foot by 7-foot trailer, only half of which isn't even an arm’s length wide. That becomes a stressful situation for an animal not used to traveling. 

>> Hurricane Florence: North Carolina's wild horses should survive, experts say

Then throw in the traffic and the heat of the road, and it becomes stressful for the owner as well as the animal.

From that was born, a site that lists stables along the East Coast, now with a special filter listing where hurricane evacuees are welcome.

>> On Hurricane Florence: Evacuating to Georgia? Here's where you can stay

“You just go on there and type the city you're looking for, and it will bring up a bunch of stables,” Fudge said.

The goal: less stress for a horse confined in a trailer and dealing with a possibly dangerous situation.

“They can stop drinking, which can later lead to colic, which can potentially lead to death,” Fudge said.

>> Read more trending news 

Through the website, horse owners who need to evacuate can better plan their escape and get their horses back to their natural environment.

If you have a pasture or stable space, you can also add it to It's easy to use and already seeing double its normal traffic due to Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence: Duke Energy says 75% of Carolina customers could lose power

Duke Energy said Wednesday that power outages related to Hurricane Florence could affect up to 75 percent of its customers in North and South Carolina.

>> On Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

The company, which provides power to about 4 million in the region, said in a news release that it expects anywhere from 1 million to 3 million customers to lose service. 

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

More than 10,000 Duke utility workers and 9,400 from other companies have been stationed in the Carolinas to restore power, the release said.

>> 15 safety tips that could save your life during a hurricane

"Despite our work force, customers should continue to make plans for their homes and facilities," Howard Fowler, Duke Energy's incident commander, said in a statement. "It's important for people to know this is no ordinary storm, and customers could be without power for a very long time – not days, but weeks." 

>> Read more trending news 

Officials also urged customers to avoid downed power lines, prepare an emergency supply kit, stock up on nonperishable food and water, charge electronic devices such as cellphones, and make plans to safely evacuate family members and pets.

Read more here.

Hurricane Florence: Evacuating to Georgia? Here's where you can stay

Metro Atlanta hotels and shelters say they could be bombarded with hurricane evacuees over the next couple of days as Hurricane Florence nears the coast of the Carolinas.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

The American Red Cross says it will be waiting with open arms.

“The Red Cross is standing by ready to respond as much as needed. We’re mobilizing volunteers, resources, supplies,” Ashley Henyan of the Red Cross told WSB-TV’s Justin Wilfon

>> Hurricane Florence: Video shows Walmart shoppers making mad dash for supplies

The organization said volunteers will operate Red Cross shelters across Georgia, most of them along the Interstate 20 corridor, for people fleeing from South Carolina.

“This is a really strong storm, so we want to make sure that we’re ready for anybody who needs a place to stay in Georgia,” Henyan said.

>> On Hurricane Florence: These airlines will waive fees for flights impacted by storm

The Red Cross still isn’t sure how many evacuees will end up in shelters, with others heading to metro Atlanta hotels.

“We’ve never left for a storm before,” one person told Wilfon while arriving at a DeKalb County hotel after evacuating from North Carolina. “Hoping everything will be fine when we come back.”

>> On Hurricane Florence: Airbnb offering free housing for evacuees, relief workers

Despite big events in Atlanta this weekend, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau told Wilfon that plenty of hotel rooms are still available in Cobb and Gwinnett counties and around the airport.

Atlanta Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that it is opening its campgrounds at the racetrack for evacuees.

The Georgia State Parks system said it is opening campgrounds at parks across the state to help evacuees. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Campsites and cottages are still available and 'dry camping' outside of normal camping areas is available for no charge. Our group shelters are also open to those fleeing the storm. Contact park offices directly for assistance,” the system said on its website.

Check available campsites here. 

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