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Black Forest cat sanctuary recovers from flood

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 11 2013 07:38:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 11:42:08 PM CDT

The Wild Blue Animal Sanctuary in Black Forest cleaned up after flooding Wednesday. It's nearly 30 cats are all safe.

BLACK FOREST, Colo. -

A cat sanctuary in Black Forest is up and running again after flooding over the burn scar Wednesday.

Wild Blue Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is home to nearly 30 cats and kittens. All were safely evacuated from the flood.

"We got a downpour of rain here, and it came through the back room and flooded up to one to two inches," said Katharine Zink, a volunteer at Wild Blue.

Fans were still airing out the building Thursday afternoon, and Zink said a crew of volunteers spent hours cleaning up.

"These cats have now gone through several evacuations within the past month," she said.

And there will likely be more in the future. Although the terrain in Black Forest isn't as steep and extreme as around the Waldo Canyon burn scar, there's still a danger.

"Less than a foot of water can carry away a small car," said  Kathy Russell, the El Paso County Emergency Preparedness Planner. "Only six inches of fast moving water can carry a person away."

Russell said people should stay away from moving water, pay attention to weather reports and recognize where the risk is greatest.

"Folks who've lived in Black Forest a long time are probably already aware of many places going to be a concern," Russell said. "Any place where a stream or low lying area crosses a road is going to be an area of concern."

Russell said El Paso County is working with scientists and forestry experts to further pinpoint areas at risk. She said they're making a 'best practice plan' for residents which should be finished in several weeks.

Wild Blue purchased sandbags Thursday for the next storm. The shelter, which doesn't put its cats in cages, had its cat trees and other supplies ruined by the water. For information on how to adopt a cat or donate, click here.

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