BALLWIN, MO - For the second time in eight weeks, the Wildlife Rescue Center in Ballwin was damaged by flooding. Heavy rains Sunday night and Monday morning forced muddy floodwater into the building causing even more damage than the first flood event.
In early July, the Wildlife Rescue Center flooded for the first time in its 20-year history. Several animals had to be rescued from their outdoor enclosures - all survived.
No animals were at risk during this week's events, but there was more damage.
Executive Director Kim Rutledge said there is damage to the administrative areas where office equipment, furniture, files, paperwork, and other office essentials are stored. Volunteers have cleaned floors, pulled out baseboards and drywall, and more.
The Wildlife Rescue Center cares for about 3,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals each year. There are nearly 300 patients at the center now including squirrels, opossums, rabbits, and turtles.
Rutledge said each flood event brings in a new round of animals. Patients started arriving before the mess was cleaned up.
Linda Haas has been a volunteer at the center for 11 years. She said the flooding has made the busy season even more challenging.
"There's always something that needs to be done whether it's moving stuff out of the flooded office out front or keeping things on task so they can do their thing out front to deal with the mess that the flood brought," said Haas.
Rutledge said they could not stay afloat without the help of volunteers and financial support from the community.
"It's costly to help 300 animals get back on their paws and into the wild," said Rutledge.
In addition to the cost of caring for the animals and repairing from flood damage, Rutledge said they are also looking into the cost of building some sort of barrier to prevent future flooding inside the center.
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