Editor's Note: This corrects an earlier version.
Some of Laguna Beach's most cherished institutions — shelter for neglected, abused or abandoned pets and respite for stranded sea mammals — were among those most damaged by the Dec. 22 flooding that inundated Laguna Canyon Road.
Laguna Beach Animal Shelter sustained some $800,000 in damages, according to police estimates.
Ben Plonski, owner of Kaguna Koi Ponds, said he doesn't know the extent of the damage yet, but he lost much of his prized Japanese fish stock as well as other mainstays of his pond-building business. His business will be closed for at least two to four weeks more while he tries to fix his damaged floors and get back to normal.
Animals are especially vulnerable in a major emergency, as seen by the fact that the only deaths reported from the Dec. 22 deluge were those of a rabbit and two chickens at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. Eight cats and an equal number of dogs were successfully evacuated, according to shelter officials.