With strong late storms threatening to hit Florida and other areas on the East Coast, life is beginning to become increasingly tricky for horses and horse owners alike. After Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Hermine was the first storm to make landfall in Florida when it arrived on August 31st, 2016. As people try to figure out how to keep their belongings away from flood water, horse owners are worried about the safety of their horses as the storms keep coming closer.
A Category 1 Disaster
When signs of Hurricane Hermine drawing closer became more evident, Governor Rick Scott warned Floridians regarding high winds and rising sea levels. Having developed from a long-tracked tropical wave that made torrential precipitation in the form of rain, Hermine was deemed as a Category 1 hurricane.
From the Tampa Bay Region to Tallahassee, heavy rains accompanied by high tides and winds as fast as 75mph ended up blocking bridges and flooding roads. Taking off in the early hours of September 2nd, the storm dropped a minimum of 10 inches of rain water in the Florida region and surrounding areas. It then continued to proceed towards the North before finally being downgraded to the status of a tropical storm. The remnants of the storm, however, still continue to wreak havoc on the East Coast.
A Sea of Uncertainty for Horse Owners
With unknown threats looming ahead, horse owners grow more worried at the uncertainty of the situation. A barn operator in the Tampa Bay area, Clarissa Cupolo, is one of them. She regards the water as being relentless in its course, as she and others continue to battle the flooding. Other horse owners have been reported to turn their horses out due to the fear of them sustaining injuries. Barns are also at a very high risk of getting damaged as a result of falling trees or strong winds.
Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Karen McCalpin, had been ready for the forewarned extreme tidal flooding and rainfall. Her organization is in charge of managing the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. But despite the prediction of strong winds, many other horse owners had no way of knowing as to what they should do in order to keep their barns and horses safe.
A Natural Defense Mechanism
As the storms keep on coming, the wild horses are evidently reacting to the change in atmosphere. Many of the horses responded by heading to the highest point on the island, thanks to their ability to sense barometric pressure changes in the atmosphere. This region is a maritime forest, with 7,544 acres of free land for the horses to roam about, and proved to be a point of safety for many.
As storms continue to rage, it is expected that the Mid-Atlantic States will receive high rainfall and heavy gusts of wind for the next few days. Not only concerned with the ongoing flood, horse owners are also wary of the damage control that will follow. However, despite all this uncertainty, many of the horse owners are sure that they will be able to combat the storms that are coming, just like they have battled those in the past.
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