Stay out of standing water - FOX 13 News

Stay out of standing water

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's become a common sight over the past few days: people have been spotted walking through floodwaters from what is now Tropical Depression Debby.  

We even found some kids playing in knee-deep water along Bayshore Blvd., but coming in contact with the water can be a lot more dangerous than you might think.

"It's pretty fun, but you feel the seaweed and it kind of creeps you out," said Cole Roberts.

Bare feet.  Swimsuits.  Floats and surf boards.  They're all in use along a flooded Bayshore Blvd.

It makes you wonder if any one really knows what's in the flood water.

"It's just water.  It's not gonna hurt," said Mackenzie Price.

Just water... and all the things swept up with the surge.  For an idea of what's lurking as you splash, look at what's left behind when the water recedes.

"There are so many dangers lurking in that water.  You can't tell what is in it.  Some of the things it might be contaminated with is sewage that might contain bacteria, parasites, viruses. You also worry about runoff from your lawn.  There could be pesticides, fertilizers," explained Dr. Joette Giovinco, FOX 13's medical reporter.

"We have had multiple ringworm conversations with our parents and could possibly take a nice shower that would take our bad germs out," said Morgan Alexander.

That only works if you wear waterproof boots to protect your skin.  Roberts had a skin irritation to begin with.

"I was in there yesterday and it made it worse," he said.

Even if the water is only ankle deep, it's so mucky and muddy that it's virtually impossible to tell when you are walking on the sidewalk or about to trip over a curb, or even worse.

"There are storm drains out there. There may be manholes.  There are various other things.  You don't want to get sucked in to things.  We have seen situations where people have been sucked in to water systems in other states," Giovinco said.

Once the flood is over, the dangers are not gone.  You can track germs in to your home from piles of dirt and debris.

"At this point in time you want to keep things clean, maybe do some extra mopping. Disinfect certain areas.  And of course we're all kind of carrying it on our shoes as well," Giovinco said.

So leave those flood coated boots outside your home until you have a chance to disinfect them with soap and water.

There's another danger and it really might make some people nervous. Plenty of wildlife lives among us, and some people have seen a couple of snakes in the water during evacuations in Pasco.

There are also bacteria warnings that affect several beaches: Ben T. Davis, Cypress Point, Davis Islands and Simmons Park.

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