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Videos of Philly residents swimming in floodwaters go viral, officials say 'not safe'

Twitter posts showed one man floating in a tube along the expressway while another clip showed a man executing a backflip off an overpass
Philadelphia residents were seen swimming in floodwaters (Twitter)
Philadelphia residents were seen swimming in floodwaters (Twitter)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: As Hurricane Ida widely affected several US states, including Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia, several photos and videos are now going viral on the internet that showed citizens going for a swim in floodwaters. A picture shared on Twitter showed a man floating in a tube along the expressway, wearing a baseball cap and drinking what seemed like a cold beverage. Another viral clip showed a man executing a backflip off an overpass into the likely sewage-filled channel below.

But city officials did not appreciate the 'fun' people were having and held a press conference Friday morning, September 3. Adam Thiel, the city’s dual fire commissioner and emergency management director, said, “Stay out of the water, stay out of the water, stay out of the mud. It’s not something you want to go swimming in, or tubing in, or any of the other things we’ve seen folks do,” before adding, “If you did that, I would certainly advise you to go get a tetanus shot, among other things.”


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Mayor Jim Kenney also asked residents to not do “stupid stuff”. While about the cleanup process, Steve Lorenz, the chief highway engineer for the Streets Department, said: “For a typical recovery and cleanup, you need to scrape the mud and debris off the roadway, and then evaluate the roadway to see if there’s any damage underneath. The inlets need to be cleaned out so future rainstorms and the existing water has some place to drain, and then inspect the existing infrastructure underground.”

People make their way in rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on September 1, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The once category 4 hurricane passed through New York City, dumping 3.15 inches of rain in the span of an hour at Central Park. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)



Meanwhile, people on the internet also reacted to the pictures and videos of people enjoying the floodwaters. Erin Biba, Freelance Science Journalist, tweeted, “Yes this is a horrible idea. Flood waters are toxic. After every major flood there are people who die from runaway infections or flesh eating bacteria because they've come into contact with flood water.” A user shared, “No need to question it.  It is absolutely unsafe for human drinking and surely unsafe for skin contact.  Sewage, lots of unsafe things carried by the flood waters, rust and dirt and dead animals and debris. That's a Do Not Attempt.”




Alonzo Lewis rescues items from his mother's home after it was destroyed by Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021 in Laplace, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a category 4 storm southwest of New Orleans. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Another one slammed the clip of a man diving into floodwaters by writing, “He jumped in the poop water. It's also probably full of gasoline too. He's going to be rinsing his eyes out for a week. Or possibly getting E Coli & COVID at the same time.”

“This is completely dangerous. There may be cars or other objects down there that he could paralyze himsrlf on. In addition that water contains raw sewage, oil, gasoline and other toxins. Just a really, really stupid thing to do,” another tweet read. A person said, “Sure, the water is nasty. But what if there's a fucking car in there or some shit and he breaks his leg and drowns. This is super dangerous for a lot of reasons.” 

The Mississippi River is seen ahead of Hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Residents of New Orleans continue to prepare as the outer bands of the hurricane begin to cut across the city. Ida is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm later today. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)



The second one noted, “Nah; see this is why I’ve pulled back on casual sex and I’m a germaphobe. You don’t know what the hell people do in their spare time. Now he gone take a shower and try to fuck someone.” “He probably wasn’t as worried about electric shocks since y’all don’t get as much flooding as Houston does. Please take my warning and do not go into flooded areas of water like this ever. I’ve personally known 3 people die this way,” a user added.