Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update on the Flooding at My Arabian Horse Farm

The flood waters here quit rising sometime during the night. By daylight we could actually see evidence the creek was receding, at least on our place. There are other portions of our state that the water still has not crested.

It was a long black night making it impossible to just look out the window to access what was happening. Several times I went outside, flash light in hand to check the water levels and confirm the horses were OK.

The first time I went out and found the flood waters had not risen since the last inspection, I didn't believe it. I really didn't trust myself knowing the experts were saying the water wouldn't recede until around 11 AM. I figured I had just remembered incorrectly.

By the second inspection, I knew I was right. The water had stopped rising and I could safely get some sleep. Talk about a relief. However, I couldn't help but lay in bed and wonder about all of those poor people down in the Orting and Puyallup Valleys. I laid there for a long time thinking about this horrible pillage by Mother Nature.

Richard called at about 7:30 AM to see if we were all right and to let me know it was safe to bring horses to his place to work. After that long stressful night I opted not to go, instead I laid in bed for another hour trying to catch up on my sleep.

What a joke that was. All I could think of was the bullet that we had avoided. The things we need to do to "fix" those low spots so horses don't get water in their stalls. My mind was off and running but it was now too late to go work horses since I had an appointment in Tacoma at 1 PM.

Instead, since there was too much water outside to turn horses out, I took advantage of the day in and wormed the entire herd . I don't halter my horses to do things like that so I figured I had enough time to get them all done before I had to get cleaned up to leave for town.

It seems the minute that I make plans to "fit" something in like that something always goes wrong. I even thought about it before I started. I sure hoped the young horses would not be stupid and decide I was trying to kill them. With the loud storm and raging water all that time, it was entirely possible I'd have some freaked out horses.

However, that was not the case. I did find several very soggy horse stalls but none with standing water as I went from horse to horse and got the worming done. The horses were awesome.....every last one of them. Solidare is ALWAYS the worst......but even she only made one weak attempt to flee. I flew through 23 horses in not time flat and before you know it I was on the road to my appointment.

I have to admit it is one thing to see the pictures on the news and another to drive down the road and see it out the window. Looking at that creek risen to about sixty feet wide did not do to me what driving by drowned out homes and farms did. We got off easy compared to so so many.

On the roads I normally travel I saw farms totally flooded out with water four feet up the walls on barns and houses. Fields where the only thing visible telling you it's a fenced field at all is a a round dot or a ripple where a fence post is............such devastation. It makes my heart break for those folks.

On the way home I stopped at Frontier Park. That's one of the locations that people could take their livestock to high ground. I wanted to see if there was something I could do to help the people whose farms were flooded out.

There were probably 20 horses still there in stalls. Many others had been picked up already. I'm going to have to call the park manager to see if he will give my name and number to the people with horses there.

If there are people who need to dig out their farms before they can take their horses home, I would be willing to feed, water and clean stalls of the horses at the park to ease their burdens some. Maybe even I can raise some money to feed those horses while they're there at the park.

The first step is the park ranger. I'm going to try and track him down tomorrow since he was nowhere around today. I'll keep you all posted how things go if I can get any information on these horses, their owners and what they might need.

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  1. So glad to hear you are all right and the flooding didn't get too bad there. I commend you for being willing to help others with their horses during this rough time. I've always known that horse people are good people. :)

  2. It is awful to see isn't it?

    I know alot of people and animals are without homes now until the water recedes and cleanup can begin. I hope that we've gotten through the worst this winter has to offer up.

    I still have lakes (and MUD) but the pasture rivers are down to trickles now. I have no idea where the water comes from, but last year during our flood here those same rivers appeared again. Must be an underground creek or spring that just can't handle that much more water... Something.

    I'm glad your water has receded and that everyone stayed dry. BTW: How is Richards back doing?

  3. Very glad to hear that you and all the critters are OK. So sad to hear about the devastation around you. That's so nice that you're willing to help out those still in need.

  4. I'm so sorry for the flooded out folks, and so grateful you guys are safe.

  5. Geez MiKael I dont visit for 2 days and look at the things you get up to!!!!

    I am really sorry to hear about the flooding and am glad that it didn't reach the barns. Our pasture is always a lake after rains as we are in the middle of the drain off area. When I first came over the driveway used to act as the drainage trench for all the flood water from all the properties around us and that included running right through the centre of our barn. Twice the one year I had six inches of water standing inside the stalls and whole barn after the rain stopped. Since then over the years I have learned where to dig little trenches (and they are small and not deep) to encourage the water to run in other directions where it doesnt have to be through my barn and 99.9% of the time it works, except when I forget to clear the grass out of the little trenches and the water backs up anyway LOL. I am normally out there getting drenched during these times digging away frantically to clear the blockages.

    You have my sympathies as there is nothing worse than dealing with the mud after something like this, no-where to put the horses, and wet stalls take a long time to dry in the winter if they dry out at all.

    I hope all the other farms and smallholdings are coping and they can get back to some type of normality soon, take care of yourself, you have enough of your own problems to take care of and I would hate for you to overdo it. Wish there was something I could do to help.

  6. Glad to hear you made it through the storm with no damage to speak of. It is so good of you to try and help the less fortunate people in your area. Horse people are the best.

  7. You write so well, in the midst of all the tragedy; I do hope you can help some horses and their owners. Amazing post.

  8. Oh my goodness. I have been updating myslef on what's been going on!! I am glad that you are all staying high and dry, but it's still so horrible for others who have to move their livestock. We are in a flood plain here. We built up our house pad 11 feet. We are way above it now, but still, you just never know!!

  9. Love your site. We grew up with horses at a farm we inherited my entire childhood. My oldest brother has a horse farm and I got to watch one of his mares deliver a beautiful colt not that long ago. I have always loved horses.

  10. We sure have had freaky weather this year. Even here in the frozen north we have had warm, cold, warm, freezing, warm .... you get the idea. It's created wicked wicked ice up here and there will probably be flooding when it all melts in the spring.

    I'm glad you and yours made it through this weather ok, flooding is scary for me.

  11. Wow, and I was grumpy about all the mud in my little pasture... I'm glad it's going down now and didn't get too high!

  12. I enjoy reading your blog, and have been doing so for a while! I linked to this post--it inspired me. Nice break from the usual, and great video clips.