Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Aftermath

At our farm the big storm was wet and annoying. We couldn't go out. Well, actually, we didn't want to go out. We hate to get wet. Except the horses, they don't care. Willen the crazy pony went around in the deluge snacking on grass as if it wasn't raining cats and dogs. Tommy and Laddy wisely stood in their run-in at least part of the time waiting - hour after hour - for a break in the weather. They watched Willen the 24/7 grass-eating-machine, shaking their heads.

So to us it was nothing more than a pain. But that is far from true in other places. As the waters start to recede we are hearing some very tragic stories of animals lost in the flooding. The people who run the Black Sheep Creamery near Chehalis had to be rescued by boat and helicopter when the floods rushed in faster and higher than ever before. They lost all but 22 of their 85 dairy sheep. You can read their harrowing account of what happened here.

The farmer does not know them personally, but has seen them at local farmer's markets and cheese tastings, and they seem like very nice people.

We didn't hear anything until yesterday from Poppy Patch farm in Montesano. That is the farm where my boyfriend Captain January was born, and it is home to one of the prettiest Nigerian herds in the country. They are downstream from Chehalis, right near the coast, so the waters did not even crest there until yesterday. They have 60 acres right near the river.

The farmer was relieved to finally get an email from them yesterday - 50 of their 60 acres were underwater and the water was lapping at the goat barn. They had the big stock trailer backed up waiting to get their goats out if necessary. But the river had stopped rising, and they were able to stay.

They said that the winds from the early part of the storm had blown two railroad cars off the tracks near their house - that's how hard it was blowing. The wind gauge broke when the winds reached 81 mph; they think the winds were around 100 mph, and they lost some of their roof panels. They said that Montesano is littered with trees and power poles and roof panels.

But they are safe and have already started doing what everyone else will be doing for a long time: cleaning up.