Sanctuary Cove closed, heavily damaged from Tuesday storms

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The atmosphere at Sanctuary Cove on Thursday would be perfect to relax and clear a person's mind - no one in sight, a quiet afternoon, and the entire reason the place exists.

"People could find peace, solitude... amidst a community that's always busy and demanding of us," explained Alison Boelts. She is one of the cove's caretakers.

However, by the looks of it now - it's anything but peaceful.

Currently closed, Sanctuary Cove suffered substantial damage after Tuesday's storms.

"It's nature. We have to understand that it happens. We have to deal with it."

Boelts stumbled upon the damage while out on an evening walk after the storms. "It was a moment of panic." Two days later, she is left to pick up the pieces.

Tucson News Now was given a tour of the damage, as the road to the cove was covered with dirt and rocks.

Flood waters destroyed some trails.

One of the hardest hit areas was the bridge to the chapel, with trees and cactus crashed into it, it turned into a dam.

"We're not prepared for this level of work." said Boelts.

That's why she has turned to the community to bridge the gap, and why people like Franco Chimenti have already stepped up.

"Good will. Being able to help the community," said Chimenti.

He was at Sanctuary Cove for a neighbor's wedding last month and said the damage is alarming.

"It was a beautiful afternoon when they got married here, unlike the mess that we have now," he said.

Boelts needs huge help to clear the bridge, so people can cross to their special day here again.

"We survive on the money that we earn by having events here at the chapel so it's going to hamstring us for a long time."

[To find out how you can help visit their website at sanctuarycove.org]

Boelts said there aren't many weddings booked in the warm summer months, but she hopes to get everything back up and running as soon as possible.

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