NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Weather from hurricane Joaquin is washing critters like the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake out of the hundreds of burrows at Smyrna Dunes Park. Now, park-goers are being warned to watch their step.
Unusually high tides have washed out the bottom dunes, causing the tops of those dunes to slide down. In turn, ground water is higher throughout the park. Normally about five feet below the surface, ground water has risen to about three feet below. This is washing wildlife out into the open from their burrows in the sand.
Beach experts are warning park-goers to watch where they step and keep pets close, especially in grassy areas. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes are venomous; they are easily identified by their diamond scale pattern, and should be avoided.
Experts say Smyrna Dunes Park is not overrun, but wildlife is more rampant right now.