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January 2, 2006

Too much water

Scary floodwaters rise up at IBRRC's Northern California headquarters

Cordelia, CA

Photo of vole hanging to fence

Vole clings to fence after flood waters chased the rodent to higher ground at Cordelia center (Photo: Jose Maria "Chema" Barredo/IBRRC) More flood photos

A s 2005 ended, International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in Cordelia was not spared from floodwaters that devastated Northern California. Located on the edge of Suisun Marsh, the non-profit’s headquarters quickly became surrounded by a shallow lake as water from winter storms that battered the area overflowed nearby creeks. However, 90 red phalaropes rescued from the storms only days before, and other birds in care, remained safe and dry due to the heroic efforts of two international interns who stayed at the center.

On December 31, staff arrived to find the roads to the center flooded and impassable. Sprint/Nextel radio phones allowed staff to talk with interns, Chema Barredo and Kristen Rzemien who were in the building, watching the water rise up through drains in the floor.

Chema and Kristen, trained in oil spill disaster response, were not fazed by flooding and diligently began feeding birds in care and moving medical equipment and supplies to higher places.

Cordelia/Fairfield flood photo

IBRRC's headquarters and the adjoining offices at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) were also threatened by the flood waters. (Photo: Jose Maria "Chema" Barredo/IBRRC) More flood photos

As they worked, native wildlife looking for higher ground began swimming to the center. Rabbits, voles, mice and other animals were rescued from the floodwaters and cared for until the water receded and they could be released.

Most water and mud damage that occurred was to equipment and pools located outside and behind the center, closest to the marsh. See more flood photos

For more information about IBRRC and its intern program visit IBRRC's website: http://www.ibrrc.org/internship_program.html

See also:

Fuzzy, furry friends saved from flooding at rescue center

IBRRC has been helping birds around the world since 1971. Its mission is to mitigate human impact on aquatic birds and other wildlife. This is achieved through rehabilitation, emergency response, education, research, planning and training.

Media contact:

Public Affairs Director

(831) 622-7588

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