Tropical Storm Ophelia: NC police chief rescues dog tied up as floodwaters rise

BELHAVEN, N.C. — As Tropical Storm Ophelia dumped rain on North Carolina and caused flooding near the Atlantic coast, a police chief helped save an animal’s life.

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Belhaven police Chief Christopher Kelly waded out into rising waters on Saturday to save a dog that had been tied up and was desperately attempting to get to higher ground, WNCN-TV reported.

The center of Ophelia made landfall on Saturday near Emerald Isle at about 6:20 a.m. EDT with 70 mph winds, according to WSOC-TV.

Belhaven is north of Emerald Isle and took several residents by surprise on Saturday, WNCN reported.

“We thought we had dodged a bullet,” Wayne Penn, a 10-year resident of Beaufort County wrote, according to the television station. “Well, the rain from Ophelia didn’t bother us much but the storm surge from the winds following the storm pushed the river into town. We had to scramble to get our vehicles to higher ground and right now we are completely surrounded by water.”

So was a dog that was left tied up outside at East Bay Street and Union Street in Belhaven.

“Dog tied up in flood water. Already up to the dog’s belly. He’s scared and needs rescuing,” resident Terry Pagliaro wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m so angry right now -- called police but no idea how long it will take to get him.”

The dog climbed on top of a doghouse in an effort to avoid the water, WNCN reported.

Kelly arrived less than an hour later in a fire truck, according to the television station.

The police chief waded into the water and rescued the frightened animal and then later took a selfie with hte dog, WNCN reported.

“Thank you, Chief Kelly and Chad O’Neal who drove the fire truck!” Pagliaro wrote on Facebook.

It is unclear who owns the dog.

“The Town of Belhaven has some great first responders. But, they should never be put in the position to take care of someone else’s negligence,” town officials wrote in a Facebook post.

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