Horses Survive Deadly Hurricanes

The wild horses of Abaco survived two deadly hurricanes, Dennis and Floyd, which struck
the Abacos barely two weeks apart. Flopyd packed gusts of 200 miles an hour, 50' waves crashed onto the reef off Man o' War Cay.
SIRIUS and ALTAIR enjoy better weather
Friends and supporters of the horses watched in horror as the track of Floyd showed it
passing right over Abaco. In the ensuing rush of rescue operations, it took Arkwild President and Abaco Wild HOrse Project Leader Mimi Rehor nearly a week to finally secure a flight on a cargo plane going into Marsh Harbour. Not knowing what she would find she carried extra equipment, emergency medical supplies and enough food and water for herself for about two days. "I had to be able to carry it all" said Rehor, "since I had no ideea if cabs were running or where I would stay. I was prepared to camp out, if necessary."

Fortunately, it wasn't necessary to camp out, nor even to stay in the AWHF office (whose rug was soaked and reeked of mildew). A close friend of both the fund and Rehor took
her in.

"Had I not been through Andrew when it hit Miami, " said Rehor, "I don't think I could have handled what I saw. There was nothing left of vegetation except pine trees and a few things under three feet tall. Whole neighborhoods were laid bare, houses once tucked into oasis of greenery were starkly under the sun with no shade. Once jungly corners were gone or only skeletons, trees strewn around like matchsticks. Roofs, walls, boats, and in Treasure Cay whole rooms of furniture were stakced up in heaps. And this aftera week of intensive cleanup"

The waiting and not knowing had been bad enough. On seeing the destructtion Rehor was about to give up any hope for the horses. The first thing to greet her in Marsh Harbour was a cat Rehor befriended and had to leasve ashore when she refused to adapt to boat or house life. Rehor was sure that Grace was gone but moments after Rehor arrived at the office Grace came out to greet her. It was a joyful reunion and harbinger of more good news. The fund's motorcycle, Dandy, was unscatched. Rather than undo the extensive 'mothballing' Rehor had done on the bike, she rented a motorcycle from Rental Wheels of Marsh Harbour. The company gave the Project a generous break on the rental fee, and Rehor was off to the farm, the bvike loaded with emergency gear, penicillin and tetanus vaccine.

The ride was sobering, thopugh the pine forests showed the least damage of all. The farm road itself was passable, and actually in good shape considering the amount of water that must have coursed over it.

It was so good to greet friends among farm personnel but sad to see their exhaustion and concern. The farm sustained very heavy damage, there was no scent of citrus blossoms in the air. Only the scent or torn limbs and pulped leaves. How, in the face of all the wreckage, the horses survived is a mystery, but survive they did. Rehor persoanally accounted for 12 during this trip and another trip the next day. Rehor's colleague had earlier counted 15 and a farm staff meember had seen the missed ones earlier that morning. Rehor said she'd have given a lot to learn how and where the horses survivged as well as they did. There no apparent signs of injuries on any of the obeserved horses.

"The uncertainty was awful," said Rehor."The herd is so small, it could disappear so quickly. I wonder if it would be possible to build a concrete bunker sort of shelter for the horses. I think it's a miracle that none were injured. I heard so much about terrible wounds and deaths that horses suffered during Andrew in Miami. I don't think it would be wise to disregard the potential for serious damage to the herd just because they survived this particular killer storm. If anuyone has ideas about designing or funding an appropriate shelter, I'd love to hear about it."
HADAR and all the horses were very serene and behaving as usual after the two deadly storms

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