More News from the Mississippi River – Caruthersville, MO

As mentioned in last week’s post, Code 3 has partnered with the ASPCA Investigations and Disaster Response staff to once again help the residents of Caruthersville, Missouri. This is not the first time Code 3 has been in Caruthersville; in 2008 Code 3 partnered with Missouri Humane to assist in evacuation of animals for what was historic flooding in that year.

We are back again… Caruthersville has built a new levee system only to find that the river crest of 48.6′, a new record level, might come over the new levee. Seep water, a hazard of river levees and people living close to the levees, is forced into the ground, under the levee system, and surfaces on the other side of the levee as very soft area. These areas can show up as water seeping from the ground or as what they call a blowout, where the water is shooting out of the ground. The force of the water can also break sewer lines and water lines causing additional dangers to residents and rescuers.

These are some of the conditions we saw when we arrived in Caruthersville on May 2.

On May 3, Code 3 began work assisting the Caruthersville Humane and the Caruthersville Animal Control evacuate animals from Caruthersville and the Pemiscot County area near the levees.

On May 6, teams had evacuated 467 animals from the Caruthersville area, this included 12 horses, dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and wildlife (injured turtle, injured heron). These animals were then transported to the Kennett Fair Grounds, in Kennett, Missouri to a temporary shelter.

On Sunday May 8, at the request of the Caruthersville Operations Center, Code 3 assumed the animal control duties for the area, to give local staff a day off. After the crest of 48.1′ on Sunday and the lifting of the curfew, some animals began to be reunited with their humans.

Code 3 teams transported 7 horses back to their owners, and 19 cats to an owner that had no way to come and get her animals. By 6:00pm Monday, May 9 some 140 animals had been released back to owners and teams are expecting that by 6:00pm Tuesday May 10, there will be far fewer animals in the shelter.

Code 3 and our teams would like to give Karol Wilcox, and her staff a job well done. The evacuation plan for Caruthersville, and Pemiscot County was a complete success, and was executed perfectly.

Kurt Cruickshank
Director of Field Operations

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