2 Durham men share story of volunteering to rescue Hurricane Florence victims

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Two Durham men are sharing their incredible stories, photos, and videos after volunteering to rescue Hurricane Florence victims.
Ernie Renn and Karl Loftus, business partners at LR Custom Fabrication and fishing buddies, decided to take their own boat and drive to the coast once Hurricane Florence hit.

They said they were not prepared for what they saw.

Renn and Loftus documented their journey and captured heart-stopping video of towns underwater, submerged vehicles, and their own fishing boat floating up to other doorsteps and higher.

“I knew it had the potential to be bad,” said Renn. ” I had no idea how bad it was going to be. Thousands of people displaced. I don’t think the majority of the country has seen how bad this is right now and how much people need help.”

People need help and the animals need help too.

One thing they weren’t prepared to see were the animals left behind.

Renn and Loftus traveled one mile by boat to find an abandoned farmhouse with horses in waist deep water.

They also entered houses with cats and dogs locked inside. One house had about ten cats scattered on kitchen countertops and behind microwaves and cereal boxes.

They found some dogs chained up, other dogs in cages with rising water, and even more dogs running loose in the floodwaters.

Loftus fell in love with one dog he found that had no owner. He brought the dog back to the Triangle and named him “Soggy”.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Soggy, who has heartworms.

If you would like to donate, click here.

“We certainly rescued a lot more animals than people,” Renn explained. “There were certainly a lot of humans taken care of in an efficient way, while animals were not at all.”

Loftus added, “I understand it’s a disaster situation, but I don’t think there’s any excuse for leaving your pets behind.”

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