Local News

Groups congregate in New Hanover County to rescue animals

Posted September 22, 2018 11:26 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2018 11:29 p.m. EDT

In New Hanover County, Florence may have moved on, but the flood waters haven't. There's some fear that flooding will only get worse.

The North East Cape Fear River is high and moving quickly. It's one of at least nine of the state's rivers that remain at major flood levels.

On the other side of Castle Hayne Boat Access are rescue groups from all over the country trying to save animals.

Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue followed Florence from North Dakota.

A few people from Texas came out their own.

Some met during Hurricane Harvey, and others have met. But they've all done this before, saving animals from hurricane destruction. Rescues in North Carolina are proving challenging.

"Harvey was different because you don't have the same access problems you have here,” said Keith Benning, a member of Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue. “Here you have road, water, road, water. In Harvey it was mainly just water."

Roads getting to Pender County are cut off by flooding. The only way to get to stranded communities is by boat.

If they can't get the animals on the boat, they bring the help right to the animals. One man said a veterinarian had come to check on horses, alpacas and cows.

If there is a way to get the animals out, the rescue groups said will, loading them up on the boat and battling the fast moving river.

"We loaded up them in the boats four at a time," Benning said. "The horses, we swam them next to the boats. Basically, you do what you can to make things work, to make things happen."

The county's emergency management center will reopen 7 a.m. Sunday as rivers continue to rise.