From Tulane University
The National Science Foundation has awarded a Tulane University researcher a RAPID grant to study how pollutants from flooding caused by Hurricane Ida may have affected groundwater and water systems in south Louisiana. Louisiana and other coastal states face hazards like superstorms and hurricanes that can expose groundwater and water systems to chemical or microbial contaminants that may have serious implications for human health. Samendra Sherchan, associate professor of environmental health sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, will lead a team collecting water samples at more than 150 sites in Houma, LaPlace, Slidell and other areas at different time intervals during the next six months to gain a better understanding of the impacts of extreme flooding on water quality and the mobilization of contaminants in coastal groundwater systems. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon on Aug. 29, bringing coastal storm surges, heavy rainfall and catastrophic flooding to many rural areas in southern Louisiana. “Such large-scale flooding has the potential to transport chemical agents and microbial pathogens and contaminate groundwater,” Sherchan said.