Water in Loxahatchee affecting animal rescues

Water in Loxahatchee affecting animal rescues

The rain may have stopped on the Memorial Day holiday, but neighbors out in Loxahatchee and beyond are still dealing with the high water.

People aren't the only ones being affected. Animals are having trouble, too!

Barky Pines Animal Rescue in Loxahatchee had to evacuate more than 70 dogs and animals last week due to last weekend's rainfall. The water is still so high out there, you can't get in or out without a high water vehicle.

"It's been difficult," said rescue founder Elizabeth Accomando rushed out more than 70 shelter animals last week due to high water from the never ending rain.

Tropical Storm Alberto, which has been dumping rain over the Florida peninsula, is adding to the chaos this week.

"We has pumped a few inches out and now we gained it back from Alberto but it could've been much worse and we were bracing ourselves for that much worse scenario," said Accomando.

The Barky Pines property, once filled with dogs, is now mostly filled with the rescued birds like turkeys and ducks.

Supplies for the animals like feed, dog food and leashes that were kept inside storage units are now ruined by the flood. Most of the property is covered in water but in some places, it's as deep as four or five feet.

"We're doing our best, just keeping an eye on the water," said Accomando.

But this week, some hope for the rescue. An anonymous person donated money for a developer to come out and elevate and drain the property.

"It was like a miracle," Accomando said. "When the water recedes, their gonna come out and bring as much dirt as we need."

Meantime, Hillary Dupont and her family run an exotic animal sanctuary out in Loxahatchee, called Prehistoric Preserve.

"These are all rescues," she said.

The high water is making their life difficult, too.

"Our enclosures are all under water and we have many endangered species out here," she said.

The heavy rains are impacting the already poor drainage and treacherous dirt roads in their area.

"The farmers are over here are overpumping the canals and the canals are breaching and running off onto our properties," Dupont said.

The family is moving their rescued animals out of the water and they're even collecting tortoises fleeing the woods for drier ground.

"We're in like a state of panic trying to get the animals out of here if we ever overflow any more," Dupont said.

And with more rain on the way, Dupont says they're prepared to evacuate if necessary.

"Everything's been brought up to the house in case we have to do an emergency evacuation and grab all the animals -- we can go. We're bracing for it, so hopefully it doesn't happen."

Accomando and her neighbors are hopeful the county, Loxahatchee officials, South Florida Water Management District -- anyone — can fix the roads and drainage and finally bring them some relief.

"We all need to work together for the common goal, which is — nobody should flood," she said.

Luckily, Barky Pines has friends with a high water vehicle to help bring them supplies. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue has also been checking on them twice a day. Click here to donate to the rescue as they recover from the flood.

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