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State issues recreational water quality advisory for northeastern counties


State officials today are urging citizens in North Carolina’s northeast counties to exercise caution with all water-based activities due to the heavy rainfall from recent storms that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water or introduced other substances into the water at potentially unsafe levels.

“Waters impacted by these heavy rainfalls can become unsafe for swimming and recreational activities,” said J.D. Potts, manager of the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program. “Floodwaters and stormwater runoff may contain pollutants and should be avoided.”

The remnants from Tropical Storm Julia dumped heavy rainfall in Beaufort, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Currituck and up to totals of up to 15 inches in Chowan County, causing county officials to declare a limited state of emergency due to the lack of drinking water, which may continue for the next 48 hours. Governor Pat McCrory has also declared a state of emergency for Bertie, Chowan and Hertford counties because of flooding in those areas and to facilitate the movement of any resources that may be needed to respond to and recover from the storm.

The recent downpours have led to street flooding, closings, evacuations, sanitary sewer concerns and the emergency pumping of floodwater into the ocean.

While state officials do not have laboratory confirmation of elevated bacteria in all coastal waters, test results taken last week from several ocean-side swimming waters in Carteret, Onslow, Pender and New Hanover counties indicated the need to take similar precautions.

State officials are monitoring the situation, working with impacted communities to address needs, and keeping a close watch on overall water quality.


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