Daniel Susco
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Flood Waters Leave Coat of Dead Fish on Highways in NC

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Life sometimes feels like an exercise of finding consequences that you never really expected. For example, if you let your grass grow too long, you might get rabbits nesting in it; if you wear shoes that don’t fit, your feet can develop odd problems; and if you have a hurricane blow in from the coast, it might leave behind a ton of dead fish on the road.


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As flood waters have receded in eastern North Carolina, they have revealed a lot of dead fish on the roads. The above post from the Penderlea Fire Department shows a section of Interstate 40 in Pender County, which borders the coast between Jacksonville and Wilmington. The PFD’s video gained a lot of attention, reaching over a million views at time of writing.

Of course, the fish are causing problems. Most pressing of these problems is that the fish left behind by the flood waters quickly started to rot. This led to many who remained in the area to complain of the terrible stench.


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However, this could also be a problem for reopening roads once floodwaters have fully receded. Addressing this concern was the reason for the above video of hosing off the road. According to a spokesperson for the PFD, the Department of Transportation asked them to clear a few hundred yards to see how well the method would work. The PFD replied that the DOT was better equipped to clean the roads.

I don’t blame them — the PFD said in an interview with Time, “The smell was quite intense and clung to our clothes/vehicles. Many of the fish had been there for a day or more and burst from the heat.”

News Sources: Splinter, Penderlea Fire Department via Facebook, Charlotte Observer, Time

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.