One person lost an estimated 180 cows in flooding recently in Washington State. This despite strenuous efforts to save them.
Many died in Osborn's milking barn, where some animals left behind sought safety in a familiar place. They died as the water rose to the top of the structure. Some tried to swim to safety. Only one cow survived, perching on a silage pile.
When the floodwaters kept rising, Osborn joined his cows on the higher ground of the Kesting family farm. So did other neighbors, who knew from a 1996 flood that this was a refuge.
But this time, even Kesting's farm was flooded.
Valley residents are now occupied with trying to remove all the dead cows. The surviving cows, in a convoy organized by Roy Osborn Sr., are being taken to another dairy where they can be milked.