Horses affected by flooding in North Dakota and Minnesota

  • American animal welfare organisations worked over the weekend (28-29 March) evacuating and caring for hundreds of animals affected by flooding in the USA.

    The Red River, dividing the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota reached record heights last week leading to the evacuation of thousands of residents.

    Equine charity Special Horses worked with the Equine Sciences Department at North Dakota State University coordinating the hundreds of incoming horses to the university from evacuated areas.

    As well as setting up an online donation site the North Dakota State University and Special Horses are asking for donations of trailers, hay, supplies and temporary housing.

    The organisations also anticipate that hay supplies for 2009 in flood path are likely to be lost.

    The worst affected areas are the cities of Fargo in North Dakota and Moorhead across the river in Minnesota.

    The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) estimates over 3,000 animals may be in need of temporary food, medical care and clean water.

    The organisation also placed its National Disaster Animal Response Team on alert while the Humane Society of United states deployed staff and equipment to the area.

    Equine Welfare Alliance anticipates that some facilities will be so badly damaged by the flooding that longer term boarding and fostering care of homeless horses may be needed.

    The Red River dropped to 39.5ft this morning (Monday 30 March) — less than record highs last week of 40.82ft but still 22ft above flood stage. The previous record high was 40.10ft in 1897.

    Officials told local press they will breathe easier when it drops below 37ft, expected by Saturday.

    But since the river has dropped the cities now face a winter storm expected to start today and bring half a foot of snow and powerful winds.

    The snowfall is not expected to worsen flooding but residents worry that strong waves could crash against the levees, weakening them more. Rapid melting snow could cause further swelling of the river.

    Online donations made at www.ndsufoundation.com or www.ifaw.org

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