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Saturday May 23rd, 2015 11:02AM

Local zoo hit by flash floods

By Alyson Shields Reporter
CLEVELAND - Flash floods have waterlogged the North Georgia Zoo and Farm. The zoo, also known as Wildlife Wonders Zoo To You, was hit by two flash floods within 24 hours.

Hope Bennett, the director of the zoo, said the heavy rains flooded the creek on site, causing it to overflow into the animal enclosures.

"When we had the flash flooding yesterday, basically our creek overflowed and completely destroyed one of our bridges and washed out some of the pathways... and some of the fences" said zoo director Hope Bennett. "We had to take some of the animals and move them to higher ground, especially in the farm animal area and the petting zoo area where people come in."

Bennett said the entrance way, which is downhill and right near the creek, had the most damage.

When the staff attempted to dry up the enclosures and repair a fence that had been washed away, another flash flood hit the zoo. "While the second one didn't do any damage, all that time we put in to cleaning up and trying to get everything dry again, we have to start all over now."

The zoo is looking for volunteers to help clean up and is also looking for donations for gravel.

"The biggest thing we're hurting on is that we've used up the last of our gravel," said Bennett. "We need to get more gravel, but obviously gravel is costly, about $400 to $1000 for a truckload of gravel. We're looking at need 5-10 loads of gravel."

The zoo is hoping to reopen by this weekend.
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