ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- As Hurricane Sally drenches the Gulf Coast with staggering amounts of rain, Environment America, U.S. PIRG and Frontier Group -- all part of the Public Interest Network -- are sharing information that will help your readers and viewers contextualize what's going on with regard to major environmental and health concerns.
The slow-moving storm is expected to make landfall Tuesday evening, September 15, or Wednesday morning. A live map showing the path of Hurricane Sally as well as nearby proposed and listed Superfund National Priority Sites is available at this link.
Flooding of sites full of chemicals and fossil fuels could result in toxic substances finding their way into flood waters and nearby communities. For example, after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, more than 190,000 barrels of oil spilled in Louisiana, and during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, 40 sites released hazardous pollutants. This contamination persists in the environment for years, hurting human and environmental health.
Additionally, Hurricane Sally’s heavy rains and lethargic pace are a dangerous combination that can lead to sewage overflows into our waterways. Over the course of the last several years we have seen how an afternoon summer storm can inundate our stormwater and sewage water treatment facilities, resulting in sewage spills and burst pipes. Sally has already reportedly caused several overflows as it traveled up the west coast of Florida.
Check out our hurricane resources archive for more information.