Donalsonville worries about West Nile - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Donalsonville worries about West Nile

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September 21, 2002

Donalsonville- Cleaning up after the floods is hard for the people in Donalsonville, but the threat of West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitos makes it even worse.

"It makes us feel nervous because there have been cases found in Dougherty County right now, and it's just a living breeding ground for mosquitos in this area. There's standing water all around us and it's just a scary thought," says Lisa Gordon.

Even health officials have concerns about the mosquitos. "There's been no signs of West Nile in this area. That doesn't mean that it couldn't be somewhere, and with all the contamination we've had lately it is a concern for everybody," says Red Cross Nurse Betty Rentz.

For those who are outdoors cleaning up all day, the fears are far greater. "You try to take all the precautions you can, but their still bad. The city needs to do some more spraying," says flood victim Wallace Roberds.

The city would do more spraying if they had more money and more spraying trucks. "At this point in time we don't have federal funding for any of this process, for clean up, or anything else down here. They tell us that the damage does not qualify for FEMA participation," admits City and County Manager Marty Shingler.

So, people are flocking to stores and getting all the repellent they can. The selves are almost empty at ACE Hardware Store, and seven bottles are all store owners have left. "We had the selves full yesterday. We've gotten eight or ten calls this morning for mosquito foggers that we are all sold out of. I've got eight on order that will be in Wednesday, but that's as best as I can do," says Store Manager Chuck Newberry.

If you can't get your hands on the sprays, Newberry recommends trying citronella candles, but with all the standing water, the mosquito problem isn't going anywhere soon.

Shingler says the city has sprayed twice since the floods, but only within the city limits. He says without any federal money they can't afford to spray the rest of Seminole County.