CLAY CITY — Black Creek and a Powell County animal shelter existed side by side for five years without incident. But Brianna's Sanctuary and Rescue, north of Clay City, is cleaning up after two flash floods Friday deposited mud, tore down wire fences and left a sodden mess.
Now president and director Linda Powell seeks donations of money and supplies to clean and repair the no-kill shelter.
Powell said she moved to the property in 2006, "and it's never flooded."
The shelter was incorporated in 2010 on the same property, off Ky. 11 north of Clay City. It has taken in unwanted animals and cared for them until they are adopted.
When volunteer Lisa Gauger arrived at 9 a.m. Friday, high water from the creek was receding, but it had piled debris against a wood bridge and had taken down fences that corralled animals.
Water had risen into the kennels along the tree line at the back of the property.
About noon, another round of heavy rain caused Black Creek to rise again onto the shelter's property.
"I just about died," Powell said.
"The mud got up into our washer, dryer, freezer, refrigerator," Gauger said. "That was traumatic. The washer and dryer, we use them to wash our kennel towels and beddings. We go through a lot of towels, so a washer and dryer are critical."
One still-nursing kitten died in the flood, Gauger said. The remaining 30 dogs and 45 cats were wet but unharmed.
On Monday, volunteer April Ritchie carried an armload of puppies to a large sink in the building, where large fans whirred as they dried the floor. A sign on a wall behind her — put there before the flood — read, "There will be no crisis this week — my schedule is full."
The pups, their hair still spiky from the water, blinked and shivered as Ritchie dried them with towels.
"I like bathing animals more than anything," she said. "When I get them in, they don't want to get out."
The shelter has made a public plea for donations of pet food, cleaning supplies, rubber boots, towels and money. A benefactor donated a washer and dryer Monday, Gauger said. Other people have dropped off food.
"Anything is greatly appreciated," Gauger said.
The shelter — named for Powell's niece, Brianna Combs, now a high school student in Wolfe County — relies on private donations and Powell's own money. She and eight volunteers keep the place going.
"We have our hands full doing all this," Ritchie said.
"Friday, it was devastating. We all went home and felt like crying. I did cry," Powell said. "But you get up and start over."