Snakes Wash Up On Lawns After Christmas Day Flooding (Photos)

| by Reve Fisher
Cottonmouth Snake found in Alabama after Christmas Day FloodCottonmouth Snake found in Alabama after Christmas Day Flood

Residents of Huntsville, Alabama, received an unwelcome surprise after the Christmas Day Flood: Along with the heavy floodwaters and destruction came venomous snakes.

Over the Christmas holiday weekend, storms struck more than 20 states. At least 44 people have died as a result of the tornadoes and floods that the U.S., reports AFP.

Because the storm caused airports in Texas to shut down, several thousand flights were affected. More than 6,400 flights were delayed and 1,600 were canceled on Dec. 27, and thousands more flights were delayed or canceled on Dec. 28.

In addition to flight cancelations, property damage and traffic problems, some residents have yet another potentially fatal problem to address: venomous snakes.

Snakes can be an unexpected result of floods, according to WAFF. Several readers sent photos to the news station of snakes that ended up on lawns and near private property in Alabama.

Cottonmouth snakes -- a venomous pit viper also known as a water moccasin -- were in some of the photos.

Although these snakes can cause severe sickness or be fatal when they bite, this tends to be uncommon because cottonmouths are not aggressive, according to The National Zoo. They reportedly do not attack unless agitated, and if that happens, they may coil their bodies and expose their fangs. The venom from this type of snake bite can be treated with a serum, and fatalities stemming from attacks are rare.

The Humane Society recommends that most snakes should be left alone. After a flood, snakes are briefly confused but generally figure out how to reorient themselves.

If bitten by a nonvenomous snake, The Humane Society recommends treating the bite like any other wound and contacting a physician. If someone you known is bitten by a venomous snake, it's advised that you capture the snake, if possible, for later identification, bring the victim to the hospital, making sure the victim stays calm, and ensure that the wound is not tampered with so the venom does not spread.

Sources: WAFF, AFP via Yahoo News, The National Zoo, The Humane Society / Photo Credit: WAFF