Weather closings and delays

Fire ants are forming into floating islands to escape flooded areas hit by Florence

It’s been called a “post-hurricane horror.” Legions of “ant islands” have been floating around the floodwaters of North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

The storm has forced the fire ants to form small islands to survive. The ants’ bodies are waxy and water resistant and create tough rafts.

Fire ants typically float until they hit dry land, said Adrian Alan Smith, head of the museum’s Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Lab, according to the Charlotte Observer.

“If no land can be found, they will float indefinitely. That’s when you get reports of people bumping into them,” Smith said.

Smith said the fire ants are currently in defensive mode and produce more venom when looking for a new home.

Florence left many areas flooded and restoration efforts continue more than a week after the deadly storm hit the North Carolina coast.