The massive flooding in Colorado is one of the worst natural disasters the country experienced this year. Initial estimates peg the damage at almost $2 billion dollars, with flood waters wiping out thousands of homes and washing out hundreds of miles of county roads as well.
Now, officials also fear that another problem might arise from the pools of stagnant water the deluge left behind, as an ABC 7 News article reports:
Weld County officials say increased amounts of standing water from flooding are increasing concerns about a rapid growth of mosquitoes and an increased risk for contracting the deadly West Nile virus.
According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, this week’s forecast for hot weather could speed up the growing process for mosquitoes that transmit the disease, helping them mature from egg to adult in as little as a week.
Health officials say there have been about 100 human cases of West Nile in the state this year. At least one person has died.
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, more than a million people die each year from diseases carried by mosquitoes, such as malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever. Of course, the presence of standing water allows mosquitoes to breed more quickly, thereby spreading such potentially life-threatening diseases faster.
For those who were spared from the flood, another part of their home may be harboring disease-carrying mosquitoes – the gutters. Gutter systems perform the important function of carrying rainwater and melted snow away from the house to prevent water damage to the roof, walls, and foundation, but twigs and leaves can cause them to clog and allow for water to pool inside them. When this happens, the gutters can become an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Therefore, it’s important that gutters in Colorado Springs remain clean to allow proper drainage of water. It’s recommended that gutter systems be cleaned at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall.
It’s said that mosquitoes have taken the lives of more people than all the wars in history combined. Fortunately, something as simple as properly maintaining Colorado Springs, CO gutters can deter them from harming more people. In fact, trusted roofing contractors like AquaDuct Roof and Gutters can install gutter protection systems for your home to keep your gutters in tip-top shape and reduce the frequency of your maintenance tasks.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Health officials worry Colorado flood could spread West Nile virus as mosquito population explodes, ABC 7 News,September 17, 2013)