The situation was looking dire Friday night for the people and more than 100 animals trapped inside a rapidly flooding North Carolina animal shelter in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
At around 7:30 p.m., Carteret County Humane Society shelter manager Cassandra Tupaj told The News & Observer that three staff members, 43 dogs and 80 cats were stuck on the top floor of the Newport shelter’s building, boxed in by rising waters. According to USA Today, there were also around 15 hens and roosters trapped in another location inside the facility.
“Roads are flooded around,” Tupaj told local news station 11 Alive, adding that rescuers would likely need boats to reach them. She said the building was already in need of repair before the storm hit, and she feared the roof over the dog kennels was in danger of collapsing in the intense rain.
Enter Cajun Navy Relief ― often referred to as simply “the Cajun Navy” ― a volunteer rescue group originating in Louisiana that’s often the first on the scene with their personal boats and equipment during natural disasters like hurricanes and floods.
Cajun Navy Relief spokesman Josh Richard confirmed to HuffPost that volunteers with the group were able to rescue the animals inside the shelter. All of the people inside escaped as well, though it was not immediately clear whether Cajun Navy rescued them or they got out in some other way.
Tupaj confirmed to the News & Observer at noon on Saturday that the animals were “all OK.” It was not clear where the animals were being relocated, and the Carteret County Humane Society did not immediately return a request for comment from HuffPost.
This story has been updated to include the town where the shelter is located.