Humane Society SOS: Dogs swim for their lives as Ark. shelter floods. Community comes to the rescue.

An Arkansas animal shelter issued an SOS as flash flooding poured in and a puppy drowned. Then the community came to the rescue.
John Bacon

Once-mighty Hurricane Barry eased to a post-tropical cyclone but remained a weather nightmare Tuesday, pounding parts of Arkansas with at least 6 inches of rain and triggering flash flooding that swamped an animal shelter and killed a puppy.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Heavy rains were falling in Missouri.

The Humane Society of Clark County in Arkadelphia issued an SOS after flooding inundated its recently renovated shelter.

"SOS!!!!!!!!!!!! We are flooded. It’s on the building !!!" the shelter said in a Facebook post. "We need help !! Can any of y’all keep a dog or two at your houses????? It’s bad y’all!!! Help help help !!"

Video from the scene showed wet dogs wandering loose in the shelter, the floor covered in water. Janie Allen, the shelter's president, told AccuWeather that at one point some of the shelter's dogs were swimming for their lives in knee-deep water. Food and medicine was ruined by the water, she said.

Scores of area residents offered their homes and yards to the animals. A short time later, the shelter posted an update on Facebook saying foster homes had been found for all 72 dogs.

"We are so blessed! People came from all over," the post said. "This community has come to our rescue. Donations. Cleaning. Fostering. It’s unbelievable!!!!"

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Elsewhere, the heavy rains are adding to troubles in Mississippi, where 550,000 acres of the South Delta have been under water since May.

"It is still shocking to see the sheer amount of water that we’ve got," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "It’s been here since February, and most of these houses have been under water since May.”

There was a ray of sunshine – rainfall ended in Texas and Louisiana, where the storm first roared into the region last week. Rainfall totals averaged from 3 to 6 inches, but some areas saw much more. One location north of Lake Charles in Louisiana saw a whopping 23.43 inches.

Hurricane Barry had triggered flooding across part of Louisiana days before it pushed ashore Saturday along the coast southwest of New Orleans. Although the storm quickly weakened to a tropical storm, days of heavy rain took its toll on the region.

"Even though the storm surge was very significant, our levees performed," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "We did not have a single levee anywhere in the state that failed or breached."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Barry flooding overwhelms animal shelter, kills puppy in Arkansas