Brevard County flooding plagues horse farm

COCOA, Fla. — Instead of walking through a sea of green pastures to feed the horses at Harmony Farms in Cocoa, Karen Garrett-Kraus must wade through water.

She’s the weekend feeder at the farm, which has been waterlogged due to overflow from the St. John’s River.

“It’s backed all the way here to join us,” said Garrett-Kraus.

According to Channel 9 Meteorologist George Waldenberger, parts of the east coast are flooding because of excess water from Hurricane Irma along with recent rains.

Watch: Neighbors step up to help protect Brevard County woman's home from rising waters

So the horses at Harmony Farms will stay cooped up in the stable inside instead of grazing and helping provide therapy.

Garrett-Kraus said that if water starts seeping into the floor of the horses’ stalls, the farm will have to move them.

“It would be bad for their feet,” she said.

Each day the horses remain in the stables, the farm loses money, unable to provide the therapy rides the farm normally offers.

Brevard County residents living on Indian River Drive are still dealing with flooding issues, one month after Hurricane Irma moved through Florida.
Residents are concerned about more rain heading their way.
One Brevard County resident, Mira Chapman, saw her neighbors rally around her to try and keep her home dry and safe from the rising waters.
"Mira called me and she said when the wind stopped blowing, (the water) came up really fast," neighbor Cindi Shamrock said. "But it was only four of us (and) we did the best we could."
Shamrock immediately got on the phone with her Lake Poinsett neighbors to ask for help. 
Millie Howard was one of the ones who showed up to shore up the sandbags around Chapman's home.
"It's very scary, especially this particular house," Howard said. "This particular house, this street is the lowest, the other streets aren't flooded in the cul de sac. She had water in her garage and in the house."
She pointed out the group of neighbors who had been working to protect Chapman's home.
"The guys over there, six or eight guys over there, have been sand-bagging all around the house, front and back," Howard said. "We've just now taken a lunch break."
Chapman was grateful for her neighbors stepping up to help.
"I didn't even have to ask," she said. "I wasn't planning on doing anything today, but maybe get my stuff together and move out of here. But they surprised me and they have really, really worked hard, and I appreciate it."
With more rain expected to come over the weekend, Brevard County resident Dave Andrews was concerned, as the Indian River water level is already the highest he's ever seen it.
"This is the longest it has been. This much rain and this much water in the Indian River," Andrews said.
Andrews has lived near Indian River Drive in Cocoa for 30 years. He said that since Irma, portions of the road have been hard to drive through.
“Hopefully it'll stop raining here in a few days and things will start getting down,” said Andrews.
But more rain is expected, adding to the already swollen Indian River and rising St. Johns River.
“I'm concerned because the salt water is causing so much damage to the cars,” said Cocoa resident Lauren Greenfield.
Greenfield said she hopes the rain and flooding doesn't force her to stay home.
“One of the girls actually missed work because she couldn't get to work on Monday. So it's causing more problems than just being able to leave your house,” Greenfield said.
"I'm actually getting these for my grandmother's house. It's off Cataline Isle," Todd Bamford said.
Bamford told Channel 9's Melonie Holt that his grandmother's home has already flooded and now neighbors fear it will happen again.
County officials said residents should limit laundry, long showers and flushing toilets because of the flooding and rain.
Officials said they are afraid of sewage backups and overflows into the Indian River Lagoon.
Many parks and boat ramps are still closed because of the flash flooding and damage caused by Irma.
The St. Johns River Water Management District opened water control structures throughout the county to reduce the amount of water flowing north.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office was scheduled to distribute sandbags to residents Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until they ran out.
Residents can pick up sandbags across the street from the Sheriff’s Office jail complex at 860 Camp Road in Sharpes. 
Sandbags will be limited to 10 per person, and the bags will be filled for the residents.

Cierra Putman,

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.