Like many who live in the southeastern part of North Carolina, Elsie Herring had to deal with massive flooding from Hurricane Florence that inundated her backyard and even reached the steps of her house. On top of the usual slew of toxic contaminants found in floodwaters, she’s especially worried about one source of pollution that’s made her life hell for the past 20 years: hog waste.
“We don’t open the windows because of the odor. You can’t keep it out. We don’t cook outside anymore or have family gatherings like we used to,” Herring, 70, told VICE News. “We don’t hang our clothes up to dry. We can’t drink out of shallow wells.”