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Letter to the Editor: Picture a disservice to threat people face in floods
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I was very dismayed that you printed, for the second time this year, a picture of a 10-year-old boy wading in the flood waters in Monticello. This is a very dangerous thing for anyone - children or adults - to do.

Every spring I speak to the kindergarteners and first-, third- and fifth-graders throughout Green County about hazardous weather and disaster preparedness. One of the topics I stress with these children is to STAY OUT of flood water. Many children (and adults) are killed needlessly every year by attempting to enter or cross flooded areas. The majority of people do not understand how strong the currents can be in flood water. You also cannot see what may be under that water - such as boards with nails. Chemicals may have seeped into the water, and roads and bridges can wash away.

From statistics gathered from 1995 through 2004, flooding caused the second highest weather related fatality rate - 84 people lost their lives. Incidentally, the highest weather fatality rate was heat related - 235 people died. The lowest fatality rate was hurricanes, from which 21 people died.

This year Green County received, for the third time in 11 years, a Presidential Disaster Declaration due to the flooding in August. This year many residents, especially in the Albany and Brooklyn areas, had major damages to their homes. Several homes had basements collapse from the pressure exerted on them from the water. The sewer system in Albany was inundated with water and could not keep up, resulting in sewer backups in many homes there. The damages were over half a million dollars and we are still working with various agencies to assist the victims of the flooding. But think of this - did you see this damage? Probably not, as most of it is inside people's homes and unlike a tornado you cannot drive around and visually see the damage.

So next time it floods, please take it more seriously and keep out of the water and stay safe.