We were certainly fortunate that FLORENCE turned away from Durham. Most of the days were calm, with bits of rain and wind. Animals that were moved seem to handle the changes well. All Keepers were able to get to work and as the weekend came to an end I thought we had escaped with zero issues.
While all is fine now, early Monday morning is when we got our share of the storm. Several inches of rain dumped in a few hours. A couple of tornado warnings and torrential rain all before 9 AM lead to some additional items to address.
The Wetland never overflowed, but water running towards the Wetland flooded half the wolf yard and the people entry to the bear house. Excessive rain made numerous rivery ditches in the Farmyard, and several leaks around campus. Our animals were still secure in their areas and sandbags prepped, so, again, we were very fortunate.
Sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 AM, a tree fell in the wolf yard. All wolves were fine, but the fence had some damage that needed to be addressed. We had staff monitoring the wolves and the yard all day. Other staff addressed cutting the downed tree, putting a temporary patch around the gate; pumping out the water from the yard; and setting up a safe work zone for wolves and fence contractors. By Tuesday afternoon everything was back to normal.
While taking the above picture, I noticed mom, F2062 on top of the hollowed a log (seeming to be a favorite place) and one of the pups caching a rat while dad, M1803, sniffed around in the foreground. See if you can notice the pup burying his rat in the first video below. Then, at the end of the first clip you’ll hear sirens in the distance… so the second video clip shows you what happened next.
The rest of our work still had to go on. Maureen and Alex from HR came down to help out. I sent them to the grocery store to buy fresh greens for the week.
I am (we are) relieved to be done with this storm. Lessons learned will help us in future storms as well, but I hope we have to wait a long time to use them.