Hurricane Irma strands manatees as residents rush to the rescue

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School

The manatees beached in Sarasota and other parts of Florida along Irma's path suffered from an unusual phenomenon in which water was pulled away from typically submerged shores while areas above sea level suffered flooding.

Florida rescue workers and a group of residents helped save two manatees who were left stranded on Sunday after Hurricane Irma caused water to drain from the Sarasota Bay. Then he spotted two stranded manatees.

The manatees didn't have to wait for the rain and storm surge, however, as a large group of animal lovers gathered to roll the massive manatees onto tarps and drag them about 100 yards through knee-deep mud to reach the water.

He told a local Fox station that both manatees "swam off" once they were again surrounded by water.

We can only imagine how scared the manatees were...

...

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

"Believe me, we tried to move them", wrote Sechler's friend, Steven Reisinger, in his own Facebook post.

"It was a pretty cool experience, we rolled them on the tarp and then dragged them a 100 yards it was insane, now back to reality of a hurricane coming", wrote Marcelo Clavijo. So they turned to social media.

"Unfortunately with manatees, they are accustomed to being tidally stranded at times", Gordon said, adding that females can beach themselves during mating season for a break.

"We're not actually intervening at this point", Gordon said. Marcelo shared photos and video from the rescue and they have since gone viral, with over 75,000 shares and 108,000 "likes" to the post.

Trump Jr. expected to testify privately to Senate committee Thursday
The meeting in question took place in June 2016, more than a month after his father became the presumptive Republican nominee. Some senators attended the closed door session Thursday but they asked no questions - those were left to the staff alone.

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