Friday, August 30 – Sustained winds of 140 mph and predictions of more than 28 inches of rain. Hurricane Dorian is on a direct path to Palm Beach, Florida. Folks on the eastern coast of the state, wait to see if the storm will swerve toward the Bahamas, before deciding to evacuate.
Volunteers with the Clewiston, Florida animal rescue don’t have the luxury of time. A rescue flight out of Jackson, Mississippi is the only thing standing between a shelter full of dogs and euthanasia.
Pilots Jeff Wall and Ryan Kropog answer the request not sure which route Dorian will take. 12 News digital reporter Marcus James headed out the door and to the skies with them.
Paws and Pilots rescue flight departs Jackson, Mississippi
Flight to West Palm Beach, Florida
This is the intensity of the weather along with the flight plan Wall files. No guarantees what they will meet along the path.
Clewiston rescuers ready dogs for flight to Nashville
Along the way, the storm changes direction – still the pilots are committed to getting the dogs transported to safety.
Roughly half a dozen dogs from the shelter in Lake Okeechobee made it out Saturday right before a Category-4 hurricane Dorian predicted landfall with the help of volunteers with Pilots N Paws, Clewiston Animal Control, and Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.
The urgency for help is clear, move the last of the dogs that were in danger of drowning in floodwaters in Lake Okeechobee.
The request came from Pilots N Paws founder Debi Diefendorff Boies and others to help deliver the animals to Jean Harrison of Nashville based Big Fluffy Dog Rescue who agreed to take any remaining animals no questions asked.
Jeff says he’s been rescuing animals for seven years and he understands this is what his calling is.
These pilots are a life-line for animals who don’t have any means of getting out of harm’s way.
Braving the weather to safety in Tennessee
This dog was one of several who faced euthanasia unless transferred from Hurricane Dorian’s path.
Digital Reporter Marcus James, Jeff Wall, and Ryan Kropog arrive back at Hawkins Field Airport.