DALLAS - Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings signed a declaration of emergency as the city continues to battle the spread of West Nile, clearing the way for aerial spraying.
Rawlings said it was the "right thing to do" as he doesn't want any more deaths "on his conscience."
Dallas officials will be asking the state to aerial spray the entire city just north of Interstate 30. The state will cover the $500,000 cost for the five planes and spraying.
"Aerial spraying risk is minimal given the ongoing spread of the West Nile virus," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Zach Thompson, the director of the Dallas County Health Department, shared his agreement.
"We're in a fight we can't win on the ground," he said.
Council members expressed health concerns that may arise due to spraying. Council member Sandy Grayson asked if residential pools would be safe and was answered with a "yes" as health experts said the insecticide breaks down in light and water. Lakey also said risks to playgrounds and organic gardens were minimal.
Council member Monica Alonzo became emotional while expressing her concerns. With her eyes misting, she said as a former farm worker she is very concerned about spraying pesticides over the area. She urged the city to reach out to citizens to help them become aware of the spraying and its effects.