This past week saw Code 3 responding to Kansas and their recent flooding. Initially we were deployed to Iola Kansas where one of our partnering teams (EERU), which is based in Kansas, was brought in to help with their animal issues. As the waters reseeded there we were requested by the Montgomery County Emergency Operations Center to coordinate water rescue in Coffeyville in the southern part of the state. A Code 3 team including our responding volunteers from EERU, ASPCA, Houston SPCA and Missouri were brought in to coordinate the water rescue and recovery efforts. The town of Coffeyville Kansas was hit with the double whammy of flooding and a chemical spill. Rescue teams donned in dry suits and protective gear spent 5 days responding to water and dry land recovery. Coffeyville’s animal shelter was also affected by the flood waters so a temporary shelter for the disaster affected animals was set up at a local baseball field. When the Code 3 team arrived we realized that there needed to be a more adequate set up for the housing of the animals being removed from the disaster area. We gave the local authorities our recommendations which included bringing in an organization that could coordinate and oversee an appropriated disaster shelter. We recommended that the local authorities contact HSUS to help with those efforts. The Humane Society of the United States was brought in to focus on the sheltering of animals so the Code 3 team could focus on the animal recovery efforts.
About 200 animals were recovered out of the affected area. As animals were rescued and brought out of the affected areas local fire decontamination teams helped with washing the animals before they could be taken to the shelter for medical evaluation and care while owners were contacted and the animals reunited. Our teams assisted in the triage efforts by administering IV fluids to animals that were suffering from severe dehydration.
Our teams received local support from the Coffeyville Fire and Emergency Services and the community without which our efforts would not have been successful.