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Alaqua Animal Refuge evacuates animals after flooding

All animals are reported to be safe after heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally and high water levels flooded Alaqua Animal Refuge.
All animals are reported to be safe after heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally and high water levels flooded Alaqua Animal Refuge.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 1:58 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - A local animal refuge had to make an emergency evacuation Tuesday after rain from Hurricane Sally flooded the property.

Alaqua Animal Refuge representatives say they called the foster community and within hours the most vulnerable animals were picked up and taken to safer locations.

They say Wednesday morning, leaders of Alaqua were able to assess the damage. They say some areas on the property are flooded with water two to three feet deep and they had to use a boat to get to the refuge.

Alaqua Animal Refuge leaders say the water is as deep as two to three feet in some areas of the property.
Alaqua Animal Refuge leaders say the water is as deep as two to three feet in some areas of the property.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)

All animals that were still on the property are safe, according to representatives. They say they were able to move the animals to higher ground away from the flooded areas.

An opossum climbs a fence at Alqua Animal Refuge to get away from the high waters.
An opossum climbs a fence at Alqua Animal Refuge to get away from the high waters.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)

At this time, Alaqua leaders say there’s nothing they can do but wait for the water to subside so they can start the clean up process.

“We are so looking forward to the day when we will not have to deal with weather events and flooding such as this,” Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood said. “It is one of the main reasons we have been trying to move from this location for many years. And luckily, our move to our future home is near and is even more critical as its location is high and dry and evacuations such as this will no longer be necessary.”

The current location of Alaqua is about 200 yards from the Choctawhatchee Bay, according to the representatives.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal shelter in Walton County. The refuge received heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally, causing flooding and animal evacuations.
Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal shelter in Walton County. The refuge received heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sally, causing flooding and animal evacuations.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)

Alaqua leaders say when the water subsides, they will need help cleaning the refuge. They also say they will need monetary donations to help clean up and to take care of the animals impacted by the storm.

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