Hurricane Florence's impact on North Carolina waters

Salinity in coastal estuaries near Wilmington, North Carolina, is similar to sea water — too high for Vibrio. But heavy rains from Hurricane Florence made these waters less saline for several weeks, increasing Vibrio exposure risks.

101520253035Sept. 03Sept. 10Sept. 17Sept. 24Oct. 1Salinity (parts per thousand)Sept. 16, the day RonPhelps was likelyexposed to VibrioIdeal Vibriosalinity range

Note: These salinity readings come from an estuary close to where Ron Phelps lived and was likely exposed to Vibrio. Scientists say changes in salinity aren’t the only way hurricanes worsen Vibrio risk.

Source: National Estuarine Research Reserve System | Credit: Elisabeth Gawthrop