Written by Staff Writer
With a month’s worth of rain in just two days, some Canadian farmers might be thinking twice about investing in artificial irrigation systems for the season.
In a photograph of destroyed farmland posted to Facebook by the Manitoba government, farmers in the province’s southeast are shown rescuing stranded cows from rising floodwaters.
“All this rain has left some Manitoba farmers in a rather desperate situation,” the provincial government wrote.
The floodwaters reached 1,500 cubic meters (19,000 gallons) per second on the Rutland Industrial Park on Saturday, according to the Manitoba government.
‘Cats against the flooding’
Thomas Renzyl was among the farmers on his land helping to relocate the animals.
“The problem is, animals are a problem for us. Because we have our cows, we need to be able to move them out of harms way, otherwise they turn into road kill. So, my other suggestion to (the farmers),” he told CBC News.
“Go and get a cat, just to use them as a navigation flag, or as a warning sign to alert (farmers) of potentially rising water.”
Renzyl said the animals would have been stranded had it not been for the effort of a stranger.
Terence Yuch, who owned two cattle farms, was one of those willing to help with the evacuation.
His sister had contacted him on Facebook to see if he would go out into the water with his two younger brothers to help rescue the animals.
“It was just pouring down with rain,” Yuch told CBC News. “I was afraid that it was going to rise and get out of hand, and there was nothing that we could do about it.”
After rescuing the cows, Yuch was taken by surprise when one became stuck.
“She ran up on the farm and kept wriggling and wriggling, and she wouldn’t come down and the water just kept rising up and it looked like she was drowning.
“She tried to free herself as fast as she could, but it was a struggle. She was just floating up and down, and just by fate, I got her up onto my back, and we were able to pull her to dry land.”
The Manitoba government warned against playing “cat-and-mouse” with the floodwaters as the surging waters could try to reclaim homes and farmland again.
“It’s always dangerous, because water moves like a river and a flood and a storm could have brought over the seven days, and it could break out of here and come to your door again,” Yuch said.