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Outer Banks Evacuation

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  • Outer Banks Evacuation

    Aren't there some herds of wild horses on some of the outerbank islands? How will these horses survive if the hurricane hits and is as strong as some predict??? I guess there are more things to worry about than some wild horses, but .........
    We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

  • #2
    Years and years and years ago, these horses got here by a major storm A squall shipwrecked a spanish ship whose cargo hold ws filled with horses and other things. These are the ancestors of the horses on Assateague (where the wild Chincoteague ponies live, they're swum across a channel to the island of Chinco which is populated and hosts a yearly sale of these horses. Assateague island is only populated by ponies and wildlife.

    They'll do what nature tells them to do, find high ground, ride it out, huddle up with butts towards the wind.

    ETA- unless the storm surge is supposed to be higher than the entire level of the island? Then it sounds pretty tragic and there may be something in place to evac/protect them. But rounding up a bunch of wild ponies to evacuate doesn't seem possible or probable
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    • #3
      Some will die. That's the truth.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        Just like during the many hurricanes that have clobbered the Outer Banks in years past, some will survive, some won't.


        • #5
          We have a vacation house in Corolla, close to the wild horse beach (which we're supposed to be heading down to next weekend if it's still standing ) and often talk to the organization that manages the herds. They say that they'll seek higher ground and find places to shelter it out, however, not sure exactly where the high ground is that they're going to find to weather this storm out. The foals are the greatest concern, but there isn't much that can be done except hope this storm blows out to sea, which isn't likely.

          I think Irene is less of a threat than the idiots flying down the beach in 4x4's hitting the horses and killing them with their vehicles the past few years.

          Hoping for the best for the horses and everyone in Irene's path. Maybe the forecasters will be wrong and it won't be as bad as predicted.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Amber_M View Post

            ETA- unless the storm surge is supposed to be higher than the entire level of the island? Then it sounds pretty tragic and there may be something in place to evac/protect them. But rounding up a bunch of wild ponies to evacuate doesn't seem possible or probable
            I've seen the ocean wash over the road in nothing more than a summer storm. High ground consists of a dune here or there. The Outer Banks are barrier islands. Flat, narrow, and easily overwhelmed. Some folks are planning to stay and wait out the hurricane. Hope they and the wildlife survive.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              Please keep this thread updated - over here on the other side of the country we may not see an item on it. Their 'leave it to Nature' attitude means harsh realities.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • #8
                For people who aren't familiar with barrier islands, here are some links.

                This was a study done on Hog Island, which is north of OBX. There was a town on this island, which is now underwater. The Hog Island sheep were removed and are now at Mt. Vernon and some were at Gunston Hall last I heard. The island is now protected though visitors are permitted. What the charts show is how barrier islands shift and move over time, and how they act as buffers to the mainland.

                I used to do conservation work on that island so I have a soft spot for it. An incredible place.

                http://science.howstuffworks.com/env...ier-island.htm. This might help explain more about barrier islands and how storms affect them.

                Where Irene is about to hit is notorious for shipwrecks back in the day. That's how those ponies got there. Nags Head got its name because looters would tie a lantern onto a horse and take it to that point, fooling captains into believing the light was coming from a lighthouse. They'd alter their course accordingly and run aground. That's the story, anyway. Might be other folk tales out there.

                You might be more familiar with the Wright Brothers. They took their flight at Kill Devil Hills which is part of this area too.
                Anyway, if you look at the coastline you'll see these barrier islands all along the coast....though many have disappeared over time. Lots of people, lots of pets, lots of horses and feral ponies, and very delicate and endangered ecosystems. There is much that will be lost.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling


                • #9
                  Jingles for ALL INVOLVED ~

                  JINGLES FOR ALL INVOLVED ``

                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                  • #10
                    The Banker ponies and the ponies on the Rachel Carson reserve are probably at the most risk right now since they're in Carteret Co - where the center of the storm is currently forecasted to make landfall and where the greatest storm surge would be
                    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


                    • #11
                      They survive, or die, just like "wild" (really feral) horses in the west when there's a harsh winter. That's nature.
                      People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama


                      • #12
                        They're asking for prayers

                        Corolla Wild Horse Fund is asking for prayers for the horses and foals on their FB page:


                        My heart is breaking.... I realize they're wild ponies, however, when you visit them year after year and see them in their natural habitat, there is a sort of attatchment. The Fund manages these horses so well - they help them in every way when they need it, save foals that become abandoned, etc... Very dedicated bunch. They have people staying behind ready to help the horses the moment they're able to, but things aren't looking good right now for horses or humans. They know the exact count of the horses there and most have names, so they'll be able to tell who's missing, who's injured, etc... and I'm sure they'll be updating their FB wall as they can.

                        Say some prayers guys - and hope it goes out to sea.


                        • #13
                          Someone may have already posted..the Chincoteague volunteer FD has opened the gates to the pony enclosures on the island, thus allowing the ponies to seek higher ground in the event of flooding.


                          • #14
                            Wow, I'm sorry (and I'm sure I'll get flamed for this) but it is totally stupid of them to not evacuate to be there for the horses. I love horses as much as the next person, and I appreciate all the work that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund does (been to OBX and seen the ponies many times) but my life and the lives of my loved ones and friends comes first. Hope they make it out of this storm OK.
                            My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


                            • #15
                              T Max,

                              everyone gets one pass through this life... each of us is free to choose how to make use of that gift.
                              Nevertheless, she persisted.


                              • #16

                                Originally posted by RainyDayRide View Post
                                T Max,

                                everyone gets one pass through this life... each of us is free to choose how to make use of that gift.

                                Well said. And I make no apologies. We put them there, by fate, by bad luck so many years ago. Maybe some kind of evac plan/idea for these horses.

                                It's not like this is the first time, nor will it be the last that the obx bears the brunt of a storm. I have been thinking about these ponies all day.
                                Last edited by Brandy76; Aug. 26, 2011, 08:27 PM. Reason: typos
                                My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
                                You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

                                Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.


                                • #17
                                  I've been going to the outerbanks for most of my life. The wild horses are living in wooded areas were the island is wider. They have opportunities for cover and to escape any storm surge. The ponies on Ocracoke Island are confined by fences and have run in sheds. They also have a large amount of area to roam that includes wooded areas.

                                  There is a riding business on the Hatteras Island. She is settled in Buxton Woods in the widest and most wooded part of the island. I have ridden with them a few times and they don't evacuate the horses, it's just not possible. From Buxton/Frisco area up to the mainland is at least a 2 hour trip without traffic...and she'd need to make it several times to get the 20 or so horses on the farm. They stock up burrow in and ride it out. She doesn't evacuate either, she stays with them. Many of the locals do stay regardless of the warnings.

                                  This place is special, I was leaving tomorrow but for obvious reasons we are hoping to leave Monday if we can get down on the island. Depends on the roads and damages.


                                  • #18
                                    Shackleford Island

                                    I originally posted this on the other Irene thread, but I was redirected here...

                                    Anyone know if they attempted an evacuation with the Shackleford Island Ponies? They have evacuated ponies from the outer banks before. Truth be told, these aren't actually "wild" horses, for heavens sake they walk up to you expecting treats (no, I'm not the person that gives them treats). I've had a sick feeling all week and didn't know why until I saw that the storm is headed straight for the OBX. I have grown up with the Shackleford Island ponies and am worried sick about them .

                                    The river house was boarded and sandbagged yesterday in anticipation of flooding. I'm scared for our house and the ponies. I was supposed to be down there this weekend, but now I'm safe in the Piedmont with my horse.

                                    I'm praying for safety for all of you on the east coast, especially my fellow Carolinians, hold tight to your horses and God bless.
                                    Disclaimer: I don't know everything, but I'm sticking to what I know and we'll go from there.


                                    • #19
                                      This is slightly off topic...but I just went to the Wild Ponies fb page. I looked through their pictures and was surprised by some of the comments. They get very angry at people for not moving when the ponies come up to them on the beach. They seem furious that people dont leave the beaches when the ponies try to get in the water. They talk bad about people that feed the ponies then "pour beer on them."

                                      I'm sorry, but this is surprising to me. Some of the pictures show a pony walking up to a car. The caption claims that the pony is being lured in and then abused. The man feeds the pony and then supposedly pours a beer on him (there is no picture of the latter).
                                      The ponies are NOT completely wild. Ive been going to the obx for 20 years and every year, the ponies come up to us looking for food/scritches. Luckily, my family knows that horses can be unpredictable and we leave them alone. However, in 5th grade, I noticed that most of the horses were gelded and that they were all very friendly. Doesnt mean that they are domesticated or that people should play with them, but come on--the majority of the population is not horse savvy. People are GOING to feed cute animals that come up to them, especially when they havent been warned not to!

                                      Also, I dont see where a beer shower hurt a horse. I mean, really? If the man had been hitting the horse or something, I would understand. The horse probably appreciated the cool beer on his back.

                                      I have been renting houses and going to the beaches for 20 years and have never seen signs or flyers about leaving the horses alone/leaving if the horses come up to you. If the group is going to post pictures of people "abusing" the ponies, they should at least put up warning signs or flyers first.
                                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by AnonymousMarie View Post
                                        Anyone know if they attempted an evacuation with the Shackleford Island Ponies?
                                        I live in Atlantic Beach, grew up in Newport, spend most weekends during the summer at Shack. These ponies aren't quite as tame as you make them sound. They walk past people on the sound side every now and then and I've seen one get into a bit of mischief with someone's bag of charcoal, but on the whole they avoid people. They treat people as just another uninteresting species hanging out on their island. Some show curiosity but I've never seen any of them actively approach people, even to look for treats. They are provided with hay in the winter and that's about it.

                                        That said I highly, highly doubt they are going to try and evacuate the ponies. They've been living there for many, many years. They continue to survive there despite the fact that people left for good (due to their town getting destroyed a few too many times due to hurricanes...) many years ago. While equine deaths do occur, it's not all that common and thank goodness, the hurricane has been downgraded to a Category 1. The ponies have seen plenty of storms before and they'll see plenty more still.

                                        ETA: I can't speak for the Carolla or Ocracoke ponies. I'm just speaking from my personal experience growing up with the Shackleford ponies. Shackleford is significantly more secluded with zero permanent residents and is only accessible by locals on their boats or by private ferry.