Torrential rains hit southern Minnesota late Thursday into Friday (June 28, 2019) causing flash flooding in Rochester, Byron and other communities. Flood waters from the Zumbro Rivers swept away 56 head of Brent Eustice’s cattle, which is about one-third of his herd.
VIDEO: Dozens of cattle are floating down the river near Oxbow Park in Byron after heavy overnight rainfall hit the area. Authorities say it’s not uncommon for this stretch to see flooding after a storm @KTTCTV #rochmn @NWSLaCrosse— Shannon Rousseau (@shannonrousseau) June 28, 2019
📸: Donny Ehlenfeldt of Byron, MN pic.twitter.com/Ekd4f3rR5b
Up to eight inches of rain fell in parts of Olmstead County, and video of the animals caught in the flooded river was widely viewed online. Eustice found about 30 of the cattle over the weekend, and all had survived though they were miles from home. While the rest remain missing, Eustice remains hopeful for a positive outcome.
Eustice told MPR News on Saturday that he was searching for the others and following the sounds of a calf. "I'm out in the middle of a woods, looking for where the calf is bellowing," he said. "So we got a bad situation."
But Eustice said he's hopeful that the remaining animals will be found alive, because he had not seen any dead cattle while searching along the river.
Once the river is back within its banks, Eustice said there will be more work to do.
"We've got to redo our fences for our pasture — and the pastures are pretty well gone now because the water took all the grass," he said.