While record floodwaters in South Carolina are slowly starting to recede, the real struggle of cleanup and recovery is only just beginning. Horse owners in the state need our help.
They’re calling it a “thousand-year” storm — the kind of weather event that’s so rare and so intense that they’re only likely to happen once in a millennium. South Carolina received record-setting amounts of rainfall in just a few days, from October 1st through the 5th. In some places, rainfall totaled over two feet. Rivers overflowed their banks, with nine reported dams bursting in the deluge. Roads, bridges and highways were closed. Fourteen people have died, many in automobile-related incidents. While the rain has finally ceased and the sun is even peeking out over the state, it’s clear that the problems in South Carolina are just beginning.
Unfortunately, horse owners and farms were not immune to the effects of the historic flood: while major news sources haven’t yet picked up on the plights of individual horsemen and horsewomen around the state, social media is abuzz with their stories.
Some farms have opened their stall doors wide to welcome displaced horses and livestock:
Unfortunately, many horse owners were not able to evacuate, meaning that horses are either stranded on farms or, in the most extreme situations, actually flooded out. These good Samaritans managed to evacuate these horses who were stranded on an “island” in their pasture due to rapidly-rising waters. (Must be logged in to Facebook to view.)
Another successful rescue mission by Shane, Johnny and Darrell Pope and Keith Rabon. This was at Lawshe Plantation in Andrews, SC. Poor guys were stranded on an island in their pasture due to the rapid flooding. Guess it comes in handy that my horse trainer husband also enjoys boating and could get these guys to dry land! Good work guys!
Posted by Holt Graham-Pope on Wednesday, October 7, 2015
This story is just one example of the likely many other farms in the same situation. If you know personally of any other individuals or farms in South Carolina that have been affected by floodwaters and are in need of help, please don’t hesitate to share information in the comments section. We will continue to update this story as we learn more.
Our hearts go out to everyone in South Carolina who are fighting their way back to their feet as the floodwaters recede.
UPDATE Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 2:17 PM: The outpouring of support from readers has been amazing to witness. The number-one question is “how can we help?” We encourage readers who wish to make donations to contact the Red Cross, who will be able to best assess what is needed where. We are reaching out to South Carolina state horsemen’s associations for ideas as well. We will continue to update this article as we receive news.
UPDATE Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:54 AM: At this time there are no centralized relief or donation efforts set up in South Carolina specifically for horse owners. This Facebook page has been set up to assist animal shelters and may be able to provide information regarding horse farms. We continue to encourage readers to contact the Red Cross if they are interested in donating or giving their time to assist flood victims. As dams continue to fail around the state, South Carolina is not out of the woods yet.
UPDATE Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 10:20 AM: The South Carolina Awareness & Rescue for Equines has started a hay fund earmarked specifically for flood victims. Please see the SCARE Facebook page for more information.