The Penderlea Fire Department in North Carolina added a strange chore to their clean up list after the floodwaters left in Hurricane Florence’s wake receded: cleaning thousands of dead fish off of the asphalt of Interstate 40. The unfortunate creatures found themselves displaced along the Carolina thoroughfare after storm surges and water from flooded rivers brought the shoals, which is their natural habitat, inland.
Recently, the North Carolina fire department had been deployed to distribute much-needed supplies to local residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Later, they were assigned to clean up the fishy situation, and on Saturday they posted photos and videos of the team attempting to remove a large number of fish that were scattered to and fro along the road.
The video footage the fire department uploaded to their Facebook page shows the fish carcasses littering quite a long way up and down the dual highway. In it, the team is additionally shown utilizing a high-pressure hose to spray the fish carcasses off the road to the verge. The Penderlea crew informed the public through the Facebook page that the fish they are shown cleaning up have been there for a while and many have burst open from the heat.
According to the Independent, people commented after watching the video that all that rotting fish must be generating one powerful stench. The Penderlea Fire Department responded by saying that “the smell is what it is” and added that it permeated their clothes and vehicles. Meanwhile, they told motorists, “Be sure to keep your windows closed and air on circulate, we will be!”
Additionally, a spokesperson for the fire department said that the scores of fish lining the road would pose a potential hazard to motorists when it opened up again. Some of the dead fish are also reportedly “quite large” and could pose a hazard if hit or if they cause a motorist to swerve around them.
The spokesperson later released a statement saying that the fire department might not be the best ones suited for the job. He added that they had initially been asked to clear a hundred yards or so to see how effective they would be using the equipment they had at their disposal for clearing the fish. After clearing the “initial section” the spokesperson suggested the Department of Transportation would be better suited to clean the fish off I40, based on the equipment the DOT has.
According to Time, Hurricane Florence dispensed 8 trillion gallons of water when it passed over the Carolinas. The violent storm caused a death toll of 44 people so far, and it also caused casualties to livestock in North Carolina when it drowned 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 hogs. And in more bad news, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety cautioned the public that the floodwaters “may recede slowly,” and that after they recede it may be discovered that the roads may have significant structural damage.