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Climate change has contributed to a rise in extreme weather events - including higher-intensity hurricanes in the North Atlantic and heavier rainfalls across the country. Scientists project that climate change will increase the frequency of heavy rainstorms, putting many communities at risk for devastation from floods.Flooding can cause a range of health impacts and risks, including: death and injury, contaminated drinking water, hazardous material spills, increased populations of disease-carrying insects and rodents, moldy houses, and community disruption and displacement.As rains become heavier, streams, rivers, and lakes can overflow, increasing the risk of water-borne pathogens flowing into drinking water sources. Downpours can also damage critical infrastructure like sewer and solid waste systems, triggering sewage overflows that can spread into local waters cities like New York City and Chicago, where older sewer systems carry sewage and rain water in the same pipes, are at greater risk for sewage spills. During heavy rains, these pipes cannot handle the volume of stormwater and wastewater, and untreated sewage is often discharged into local waters where people swim and play.
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