5 puppies die when Bradford animal shelter floods

Flood waters also affect homes, businesses in Bradford County

STARKE, Fla. - Five puppies died Monday morning after flooding rains swelled Alligator Creek out of its banks and inside trailers at Bradford County Animal Control.

"The dogs were moving their animals on top of their cages, cats were in their cages trying to survive the flood," said Tracey George, of Animal Rescue's Supporters of Sheltered Animals.

The animals were moved to the Bradford County Fairgrounds on Monday morning and crews tried to salvage what they could from the shelter, but they were not very hopeful if rains and flooding associated with Tropical Storm Debby continue.

They've put out a call for adoptions, and some animal rescue groups have already responded.

Alligator Creek, which runs through a good part of Starke, began rising Sunday night and early Monday morning and became so bad at times that portions of U.S. Highway 301 were closed.

IMAGES: Bradford County flooding

Water filled the parking lots of a number of restaurants and businesses.

The biggest concern is what was happening with homes along the creek. Julia Griffen recently rebuilt her house after a fire in 2009. Now it's filling with water.

"It's a little easier this time," she said. "So I just moved back into it. I already lost the home once. Insurance makes it better."

The city is supplying sandbags to help homeowners hold back the waters, and for Andrew Norman, that's helping, even though he thinks water is going to get in his home eventually.

"It's already at the doors coming through, so it's probably going to flood," he said.

Despite sand bags and a pump, Chad Mercer couldn't stop the knee high water from flooding his home.

"I'm laughing about it now because I've been doing this since six this morning. Gotta laugh now," he said.

His neighbors a block away are watching that same water creep toward them, praying they're not the next victim of Debby's wet onslaught.

"Our bullfrogs got lifejackets on, man, because they're drowning," said John Gibbs.

A shelter was also opened at Starke Elementary School at 1000 West Weldon Street. The Bradford County Emergency hotline is 904-966-6336.

Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.