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Storms trap several horses in their stalls; Hillsborough County crews rescue them

Posted at 8:55 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 20:55:52-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLA - A Lithia couple has received an outpouring of support from the community; their horses were trapped in their barn after a tree fell on it.

Kate Waterford said the oak tree destroyed 4 stalls on their property called Waterford Stables. The tree fell onto the horse barn Thursday morning. She said it woke them up around 6 a.m. She said powerful storms were moving through the area.

“It was the loudest noise I’ve ever heard in my life,” Kate Waterford said.

They feared the worst, but were relieved when they realized their horses were not seriously injured.

“I was shocked ‘cause I thought...there’s no way,” Albert Waterford said.

The Waterford’s said it was a miracle their horses survived and only had minor scrapes. They are monitoring the horses. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue helped rescue them. They took the stalls apart by hand in order to not startle them.

“While they were dismantling the barn around them, I was holding the horses and keeping them calm,” Kate Waterford said.

The couple has lived at the property for 3 years. They are currently assessing the damage they received Thursday.

“Knowing the devastation we could have had for life in this case of the horses...yeah I was completely relived,” Albert Waterford said.

Albert Waterford is a civilian employee for the U.S. Coast Guard. He said he has been on a furlough since the end of December.

“(I) haven’t seen (a) paycheck so of course something like this …when you think about expenses and what they will be…it’s something that I don’t need,” Albert Waterford said.

The couple said they are thankful for the horse community and people in Tampa Bay who have stepped up and have helped them through this difficult time by helping them clean-up, donating items to them, and financially too.

“The community is amazing,” Kate Waterford said.