Friday was a doozie of a day. Tropical Storm Andrea made for quite the adventure. Jessi and Aaron started checking on all the animals and fences at 7:00. I received a call from them at 7:15 saying trees were down on the bear fence on the cliff- so much so that the bears could climb out.
I came in. Jessi and Aaron had confirmed all the bears, and all the animals at the museum were where they were supposed to be and the only damage was to the bear fence. It took us until about 9 AM to get all the bears secure in the house, and then the work began to get the big tree(s) off the fence. The rain held off for the first couple of hours, but the rest of the work took place in anywhere from drizzling to more-often-than-not torrential rain. Daniel and Dale from the Facilities staff worked hard for almost an hour and a half to get the tree cut off the fence.
We cleared large sections of the top of the tree by tossing them, pushing them, pulling them with ropes, down into the bear yard. Dickerson fence arrived at 2 PM to repair the fence and Daniel got the electric lines and insulators rehung. Much of the bear yard was covered in water, including electric fence lines, so the bears spent the night in the house. (The Farmyard rabbits spent the night in the main building because there home was flooded out too). At 7 PM it was bright and sunny- it was very weird being in Explore the Wild in the bright sun given how the rest of my time was spent earlier in the day.
By 8:30 AM Saturday morning, the water had subsided enough and the electric fence was confirmed to be operational so the bears were let out.
This is such an abbreviated tale of what occurred Friday. I could share with you about scrapes and bruises and other tweaks and injuries that staff received; radios missing in sections of trees that fortunately, were eventually found and will maybe work again after drying out; puddles that you thought were only a couple of inches deep but all of a sudden your knee was wet; flooding and leaking…flooding and leaking just about everywhere.
Another storm is behind us. Let’s hope the next storm is far off in the future… well after my retirement.