Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

October 30, 2012

Official: Island ponies believed to be safe

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) — Chincoteague's most celebrated summer visitors — the wild ponies of Assateague Island — apparently weathered superstorm Sandy.

Fire Chief Harry Thornton planned to check on the 130 ponies later Tuesday, but he said all indications are they were able to find shelter on the 37-foot barrier island. He said they typically head to higher ground during tidal surges. The last time ponies died in a storm was 50 years ago.

Many of Chincoteague's streets and roads were covered by water at the height of Sandy's battering Monday. About 3,500 islanders waited out the storm in their homes.

After two days of high winds and pelting rain, water remains deep in some spots and debris is everywhere.

The state has reopened the causeway linking the island to the mainland.

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