Strong late summer storms are complicating life for horses and their owners in Florida and points east. While there were no mandatory horse evacuations ahead of the storm, keeping horses out of flood waters and safe in high winds has been a challenge for some.
On Aug. 31, as Hurricane Hermine began to threaten Florida’s Gulf Coast, Governor Rick Scott advised Floridians in 51 countries to prepare for the coming rising waters and high winds accompanying the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since 2005. By Sept. 1, heavy rains along with high tides and 75-mile-per-hour winds flooded roads and closed bridges from the Tampa Bay region to Tallahassee. When the hurricane made landfall in the early hours of Sept. 2, the storm had dropped more than 10 inches of rain in and around Florida before it headed north and was downgraded to a tropical storm.
But even as the rain persisted into the morning of Sept. 2, Tampa-area boarding barn operator Clarissa Cupolo continued to battle flooding.
“This water is relentless,” Cupolo said. “We’ll have to see what the weather holds for us.”
Meanwhile, horse owners report turning their horses out to prevent injury in barns that could become damaged by high winds and falling trees.
By 11 a.m., The National Weather Service (NWS) issued it’s Tropical Storm Warning for Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, and North Carolina.
Karen McCalpin, executive director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which manages the wild horses which reside at the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, was already brac