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Please jingle for our "refugees"! Post #156, first "flood foal" born 2/6!!

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  • Please jingle for our "refugees"! Post #156, first "flood foal" born 2/6!!

    The river valleys of Western Washington are set to experience the third "hundred-year flood" since November of 2006. I think it is time to start calling them something else. Be it development or global warming or just bad karma, they are becoming just a tad too frequent.

    We have a unique and stressful situation at our farm on the floodplain. By the time the water reaches our barns, the roads have been closed for 24+ hours. It's kind of like receiving an invitation that says "if it rains on Saturday, the party will be held on Friday". If we wait and watch the gauge and the rising water until it's evident that the flood is going to be big enough to hit the barns, it's too late to do anything about it. That's what happened to us in the November 2006 and November 2008 floods. The horses all stayed at the farm both times.

    We do have an indoor arena that was built up with truckloads of fill so that it is the highest indoor thing on the property. We also have "critter pads" -- outdoor paddocks on a manmade plateau created expressly for animal evacuation. But the arena didn't stay above water in the 11/2006 flood, and the critter pad was very mucky and wet. We battled rain rot and scratches for months after the horses were up there.

    Fast forward to today. Perfect conditions for bad bad flooding by tomorrow -- lots of snow in the mountains, some snow and lots of groundwater in the valleys, and temps in the 50s. I am by myself caring for 30 horses because my two friends who have horses here, and share care with me, are sisters and their dad passed away unexpectedly last week. So they are out of state.

    I took the big leap (you were wondering if I had a point, weren't you?) today and evacuated horses to the local fairgrounds, before the roads close and I have no options. Sixteen of 30 horses are up there now. All of the risky cases -- the young, the new, the pregnant, the hard keepers and of course the stallion. Left at the farm are the tough cookies who can stand a little bit of wet and wild. I will stay here and care for them. Of course I'm nervous as heck about the 16 who aren't under my direct care until after the flood recedes and the road reopens.

    I totally trust the caretaker but... but... they are OUT THERE and I am IN HERE! The fact that they are the risky cases makes it all the more nerve-wracking. One of the pregnant mares is at 314 days and the other is at 292! So if you could spare a jingle or cross your fingers that their stay at the fairgrounds is short and uneventful... well, I'd appreciate it immensely!
    Last edited by JoZ; Feb. 7, 2009, 11:28 PM. Reason: Update!
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.

  • #2
    The weather in Western WA has been and is truly awful this winter.
    Where are you ? Need any help ?
    Wishing you all the best.


    • #3
      Gosh... Sophie's choice, 'eh?

      I hope it's not as bad as you planned for...

      The weather has been a true demon in my life the last 3 years here. First 7, we had snow, we had THE Ice Storm of '98, we had nor'easters and hurricanes... all things that were 'normal.' The last 3 we've had stuff that is just plain stupid.

      And I'm with ya--the "Storm of the Century" was supposedly in '98. So what the hell was 3 weeks ago then? A mere decade later?

      I dunno.

      Good luck. Stay safe. Sending "dry" and safe prayers westward for ya.
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


      • #4
        Many jingles and safe thoughts for you and your critters!
        \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables


        • #5
          Originally posted by Skeezix View Post
          Many jingles and safe thoughts for you and your critters!

          Double ditto!


          • #6
            Lordy, we are have a wild year, huh?!?!

            I've got some spare jingles coming your way from NH, where we are also experiencing strange weather!!!!!


            • #7
              You did the right thing JoZ...evacuating the risky horses way ahead of time. Although I do understand 100% the panic of having horses in your care somewhere that you can't be.
              My fingers are crossed for you and the horse with you and the ones at the fairgrounds. And toes crossed that you don't actually flood. Here's hoping the Plan Ahead Karma works...since you evacuated the PAK will ensure it doesn't actually flood so you moved them and worried for no food reason.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!


              • #8
                Oh my God I'm so glad you evacuated the horses. Please please be careful for your own safety too.

                My farm lies within a floodplain and there is only one way out, which is often closed even during a summer storm.

                You were wise to have an evacuation plan and implement it before disaster struck (which I hope does not happen).

                Please be careful and I will be praying for dry weather for you!
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling


                • #9
                  Here's hoping that, because you are well prepared, it won't have been needed, in any form. Which is, though frustrating, the better place to be! Seriously, jingles for a positive outcome for all of you.
                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                  • #10
                    Wow what a terrifying situation!!!

                    ***Jingles*** from Ontario


                    • #11
                      BIG jingles!!!
                      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                      • #12
                        Jingle jingle!

                        Yeah, I love that "storm of the century" crap. I remember a few years ago they said a certain storm was going to the "storm of the century". Seeing as "the century" was about 3 years old, I thought it was a completely ridiculous statement. I mean, why even pretend to know? Do "they" have crystal balls? (not sure if THAT came out right!)
                        "Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"


                        • Original Poster

                          It's all over but the waiting -- to see just how high the crest (and the water on the farm) will be.

                          Here's a cute story. I told you we did triage on the horses for special needs, with the hardy, healthy, stout ones staying here to weather the storm with me. Well this morning the guy who will be caring for the horses at the fairground came by to get my truck and trailer so he has them if needed.

                          He started cleaning stalls for us a year ago. LOVES the horses and is in the process of buying one from me -- a really quite special breeding stock Paint gelding who is 19 months old now. A big stocky strapping young horse, who of course fell into the "stay here" group. Well this morning our friend was hemming and hawing, patting his gelding, saying "I'll see you as soon as I can". Uh huh. Why didn't I think of this earlier???

                          "Bobby, do you want to take him with you?" His face lit up. Of course! He is stuck caring for 16 horses of ours with no help for god knows how long, of course he wants HIS boy with him! So off they went. Yay!

                          Oh, and one less for me to deal with. Tee hee.
                          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                          • #14
                            Jingling hard for you, Josie. Even though you (wisely) invoked Plan Ahead Karma, you're left with a lot of chores. I hope it's nothing, and all the ponies can come home soon.


                            • #15
                              JoZ - you absolutely made the right move. I am on the Thurston/Lewis County boarder - it is bad down here!!! I just heard on the news that I-5 closed south of me. Everyone, please be safe and hang on! Let us know if you need any help, those of us that can help will.
                              RIP Disco (6/8/2000 - 4/1/2008)


                              • #16
                                Jingles that all goes well. Glad you got some of them to safety. You stay safe, please!


                                • Original Poster

                                  I'm scared to death. The horses that stayed here are up on the "critter pad" in knee deep slop. Who knows when we'll get to them to feed them. They have 100 gallons of water with the hose left running (what's it going to do, flood?). I hope they don't die of hypothermia. I am pretty much a basket case right now. I'm afraid it will reach the houses (it never has but this is going to break all records I think, maybe by a significant amount). How do I evacuate four cats and seven dogs if I have to be picked up by helicopter? I guess the answer is, I don't. Oh god I'm scared.
                                  Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                                  • #18
                                    JoZ - I am thinking of you!!! Please keep us posted. If we can all make it to Friday we will be OK - it is supposed to be sunny then (and all through next week, which will definitely help with cleanup). Do what you can, but remember, at this stage, you have to be your number one priority (if something happens to you, then there will definitely be no one around to help the critters). Major jingles to you - and to the rest of us here in the Northwest!!!

                                    Also, you might want to change your post to reflect that you need jingles, too (and location - maybe more of us local people will "pipe in")
                                    RIP Disco (6/8/2000 - 4/1/2008)


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by DiscoMom View Post
                                      Also, you might want to change your post to reflect that you need jingles, too (and location - maybe more of us local people will "pipe in")
                                      Thanks for the tip, LOL. I'm kind of wallowing in it right now. I've had to discuss things with my friends (the ones out of state for their dad's funeral) a couple of times and I feel guilty for bothering them. But all these decisions are so tiring and stressful. I am sure I've made some incorrect ones, like not getting ALL of the horses off the property, and others I don't know about yet.
                                      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                                      • #20
                                        Jingles for you and your four legged charges.
                                        Nevertheless, she persisted.