Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Dead fish cover North Carolina roads as flood waters recede after Hurricane Florence

'The smell is what it is'

Harry Cockburn
Sunday 23 September 2018 13:20 BST
Firefighters hose fish off I-40 highway in North Carolina

Fire crews dealing with the clean-up operation after Hurricane Florence are having to move thousands of dead fish from roadways after storm surges and flooded rivers brought shoals far inland.

A team was deployed to interstate 40 where a large number of fish were hosed off the highway after the hurricane dropped eight trillion gallons of water on North Carolina.

Posting footage of the unusual scene on Facebook, the Penderlea Fire Department said: “Well, we can add ‘washing fish off of the interstate’ to the long list of interesting things firefighters get to experience.”

“Hurricane Florence caused massive flooding in our area and allowed the fish to travel far from their natural habitat, stranding them on the interstate when waters receded.”

The video shows a long section of dual carriageway, with one side littered with fish carcasses. Two firemen using a high-pressure hose spray the fish off the roadway and onto the verge.

People responding to the video pointed out that having thousands of rotting fish on the side of the road is going to generate a fierce odour.

Penderlea Fire Department responded saying: “The smell is what it is; this was done for the safety of motorists since some of the fish were actually quite large and could be dangerous if hit, or if swerved around.

“Be sure to keep your windows closed and air on circulate, we will be!”

Fish were moved off the road raising concerns about odour (Penderlea Fire Department) (PFD)

At least 44 people have been killed since the hurricane hit the Carolinas last week. While the rain has subsided, many rivers continue to rise in some areas and authorities have warned the danger is far from over.

Livestock deaths have also been catastrophic, with 3.4 million chickens drowned in North Carolina as well as 5,500 hogs, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in