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Devastating Ice Storm Hits Turpentine Creek

Our travel supplier partners down in Eureka Springs, Arkansas have experienced some serious icy weather conditions. Please read this and support them if you can.

From Scott at Turpentine Creek:

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was hit by a devastating storm last week. I just now can go to a library to send a notice to you. Last Tuesday mother nature sent us 3 inches of pure ice. I guess it was our turn. Everything screeched to a halt around 2 pm. Lights out by 3 pm (seven days ago). Our preparation for an emergency was now to be tested. We did have water in our 10,000 gallon tank which gravity fed most toilets, that was nice. More importantly, we were able to use the water to haul it to every animal in buckets three times a day as temperatures fell to single digits. The low temperatures froze our well house and burnt up a $4,100 well. All this is happening when visitors are scarce. This means money is scarce. It may be up to another week before we get electricity. We need generators and other necessities fast.

The animals were all snuggled in their den as trees began to fall all over the place. Every “Crack” you heard sounded like thunder in the night. You could here it everywhere but could not tell what it hit, until morning. This went on for three days. Tanya Smith, TCWR President, was on a four wheeler when ice fell and struck her head. She was not seriously hurt but didn’t want to go in the woods either. Several Interns and staff members fell but nobody was seriously hurt. Local Hotels, Eureka Inn Best Western and The 1876 Inn, donated rooms for our people to take showers.

Laurie Vanderwal, 10 year veteran staff zoologist, and I, in the meantime, were fighting our way back to the Refuge from Manhattan, Kansas with the cubs, Mack and BB King. The University was nice and let us leave the cubs at their facility while we waited out the storm. On Tuesday morning we headed for Arkansas. By dark we have made it just to the Arkansas/Missouri border and was forced to stay another night, hoping to be able to follow the snowplows through the mountains. I wish I could post photo’s, they are amazing.

This storm has consumed every staff, intern, and volunteer at the Refuge. We are struggling to make sure every animal is fine, and they are, at this point. Clean-up will take months at best. Our trees our all busted up…it looks as if a bomb went off. We have holes through roofs, trees all over habitat fences, and impassable roads. We do have food for everyone.

This is the worst storm I have ever seen. Three feet of snow would have been easier to deal with. The ice was so thick but now is gone. It has been in the fifties and is now drying out. The devastation is just now coming into sight. Please Help. Volunteer or Donate Today. Click Here

I will get back to the library very soon.


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