The rain, storm surge, and high winds from Hurricane Florence have ravaged coastal areas of North and South Carolina. The death toll from the hurricane turned tropical storm has risen to 31 dead, 24 in North Carolina. As many as 20,000 people were in shelters. More than 400,000 homes and businesses were without power on Monday, despite Hurricane Florence making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 am ET on Friday. The human suffering has been catastrophic and animals are struggling to deal with the disastrous conditions as well.
Tony Alsup knew that many pets would be in harm’s way with Hurricane Florence heading to the Carolinas. So the 51-year-old trucker from Tennessee transformed an old school bus into a mobile animal shelter. The bus, which has been nicknamed “Noah’s Ark,” has the words “EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE SHELTER” posted on the bus.
Alsup drove from Tennessee to South Carolina on a mission to save as many abandoned animals as he could. Since Friday, Alsup has rescued 53 dogs and 11 cats, and will bus them to a shelter in Foley, Alabama so they can be adopted.
“I love it,” he told The Greenville News. “People don’t believe me, they say it’s got to be barking crazy. But no. They know I’m the Alpha dog and I’m not here to hurt them.”
Alsup also helped forgotten pets when Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma ravaged the United States. Alsup wasn’t the only hero saving helpless animals from the raging flood waters in the Carolinas.
Rescue workers saved six dogs who were in locked cage in Leland, North Carolina, as flood waters closed in.
The owner of the dogs reportedly didn’t abandon the dogs and was taken away at the same time after suffering a medical emergency.
A photo of a man evacuating with his kitten went viral. The evacuee, named Robert Simmons Jr., can be seen on a boat with his kitten appropriately named “Survivor” escaping floodwaters in New Bern, North Carolina.
“We done been through Bertha, Fran, Irene, Matthew,” Simmons said. “And this is the worst it’s ever been, in this part right here.”
Other animal rescues include the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, Good Samaritans, and reporters saving numerous animals.