Animal Refuges in Everglades Flooded After Recent Heavy Rains

Parts of Florida's Everglades are so waterlogged that deer, wading birds and other animals are running out of dry ground.

State officials say heavy rains this month have left water levels 2 feet higher than normal in the wetlands in western Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The water levels top 11 feet in some places.

Wooded “tree islands'' usually offer animals dry refuge when water levels in the Everglades are high. But in a Sun Sentinel report, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron said those islands are now under water.

The state agency that oversees Everglades restoration is pumping water into Lake Okeechobee and into the Atlantic Ocean to relieve the flooding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also is flushing water into drier areas of Everglades National Park.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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