Published 9:48 PM EDT Sep 14, 2018
Rescue workers helped two people and over 100 animals escape from a flooded animal shelter in North Carolina on Friday, one of the happier endings to the havoc being wreaked by tropical storm Florence.
Carteret County Humane Society (CCHS), located in the city of Newport, notified Facebook followers early that morning that at least two people along with 43 dogs and about 80 cats were trapped on the top floor of the building.
Roughly 15 chickens and roosters were stuck in an area at the back of the facility, but flooding from tropical storm Florence kept staff from reaching them.
After being trapped for hours, the Cajun Navy, a volunteer group of private boat owners who assist in search and rescue efforts, helped escort the shelter workers to safety later that evening, and emergency personnel put the animals in large vehicles soon after.
The local fire department cut down trees so that some of the roads leading to and from the shelter could be drivable.
Prior to the rescue, those trapped were confined to the upper level of CCHS due to rising flood waters. Not only were they standing in at least an inch of water, but part of the roof collapsed during the storm also.
"The shelter is old and needed repairs before the storm," manager Cassandra Tupaj wrote in a message. "Also the roof over dog kennels is saturated and not looking like it will hold up the whole storm."
Tupaj said the closest safe site is 3 hours away in the city of Standford and roads aren't likely passable.
Still, the Carteret County Animal Control Services department confirmed that the situation was under control and that the animals and people were being relocated.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the area lasting until 9:00 am Saturday, Sep 15.
"The unprecedented rainfall approaching 2 feet in Carteret County is being exasperated by an intense rain band that extends into nearby counties," the NWS posted on Facebook.
On Wednesday the shelter posted a Facebook status that reads: "Hey everyone! As we prepare for Florence we ask if anyone is out and about we could use the following items! Purina dog and cat chow, cat litter, and any type of water jugs. Thank you to anyone who can donate, our animals greatly appreciate it!!!!"
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