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Well Said: Hurricanes and water quality

In this week’s podcast, water-quality expert Hans Paerl discusses the damage caused by Hurricane Florence and the dangers left behind by hurricanes: pollutants in the watershed that could poison people and kill fish.

Hans Paerl has lived in North Carolina since 1978, and in those 40 years, he hasn’t seen a storm quite like Hurricane Florence, which made landfall near Wilmington early in the morning on Sept. 14.

In this week’s episode, Paerl — the Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences — updates us from the North Carolina coast on the damage caused by Hurricane Florence, explains what made this storm so unique and addresses the lingering long-term danger left behind by storms like Florence: pollutants in the watershed that could poison people and kill fish.

To better understand the concerns about how this storm will affect water quality for weeks and months to come, we will also revisit our conversation with Paerl from 2017.

Join us every Wednesday for the University’s podcast as we talk with Carolina’s newsmakers and experts. Each episode, students, faculty, staff and alumni will discuss what’s going on in classrooms, labs and around campus, and how it pertains to the local, national and international headlines.

Read a transcript of this episode.