ASPCA deployed responders to the Carolinas to save animals

Courtesy: ASPCA, Hurricane Florence response

NEW BERN, N.C. — Flooding has made things difficult in Hurricane Florence’s aftermath. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be on site to save pets or animals left in dangerous situations.

After Hurricane Florence made landfall, tens of thousands of residents, their pets, and homeless animals were displaced. For weeks ahead critical response will be necessary to help the animals survive. It will take several days to assess the damage to the East Coast.

The ASPCA deployed responders with rescue boats, trucks, and supplies to the area — ready to assist animals and impacted communities. Water rescues are expected as well as evacuating homes and bringing pets to dry land.

Last year the ASPCA responded to six disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the wildfires in California, assisting more than 37,000 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue, and post-disaster relief efforts.

ASPCA will remain in close communication with emergency management agencies in the Carolinas. Disaster response efforts are underway.

For more information or to donate go to the ASPCA website.

Key developments following Hurricane Florence’s landfall

• Florence’s location: By 2 p.m. Saturday, Florence’s center was 50 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It was moving west at 3 mph, the National Weather Service said. The storm will dump rain in the Carolinas through the weekend.

• Winds: Florence’s tropical-storm-force winds (at least 39 mph) extend up to 150 miles from its center.

• No electricity: About 760,000 customers are without power in North Carolina. In South Carolina, some 36,000 customers are without power.

• Trapped and rescued: In hard-hit New Bern, North Carolina, where Florence damaged 4,300 homes, rescuers have taken more than 400 people from homes surrounded by rising waters, and about 100 others are awaiting rescue, Mayor Dana Outlaw said Saturday morning. In nearby Onslow County, three US Coast Guard helicopters helped with rescue missions.

• Much flooding to come: By storm’s end, up to 40 inches of rain will have fallen in parts of North Carolina and far northeastern South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. Parts of South Carolina could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches. Florence “will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and South Carolina for some time,” NOAA official Steve Goldstein said.

• Record rainfall: Florence has dumped more than 30 inches of rain in Swansboro, North Carolina, as of Saturday morning, breaking an all-time record for rainfall from a tropical system in the state. The previous record of 24.06 inches was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

• Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14, and by mid-morning rescuers had already helped more than 200 people from floodwaters, with about 150 more awaiting rescue.

Death toll

In Wilmington, North Carolina, a mother and her baby died when a tree landed on their house. A woman died in Hampstead, North Carolina after having a heart attack. First responders couldn’t reach her due to debris-blocked roads.

In Lenoir County, North Carolina a person died while plugging in a generator. A man died in Kinston, North Carolina when he was overtaken by strong winds. Two others died in Harkers Island, North Carolina.