Washington Farmers Unite to Help Flood Victims

by Maria Hartfield

Extreme flooding in Washington state has forced many farmers out of their homes. In a time when it’s easier to focus on saving your own property and assets, this natural disaster has Americans pulling together to support each other. The agricultural crisis follows a week of severe rain measuring over 10 inches within 48 hours. For some, the torrential downpour amounts to a month’s worth of rain in a matter of only two days according to The Guardian.

There isn’t much “feel-good” content to go along with the news of devastating floods. However, farmers in the northwest are coming together in an effort to present a united front amidst these terrifying circumstances. Now more than ever, it’s important we understand the importance of supporting our fellow neighbors. With natural disasters occurring at a more rapid and frequent rate, one of the best resources we have is each other.

Photos and aerial footage of the affected region reveal thousands of animals trapped with no access to food and water. In addition, farmers are carrying animals out of waterlogged barns and submerged pastures.

“We have the possibility of this happening again this winter, that’s a real possibility. And it could happen every year. It’s actually kind of depressing,” said Jerry Debruin, fire chief of Whatcom County Fire District 14. “What’s going to come of a town that could face this kind of problem year after year or every several months? That’s the part I struggle with.”

One video surfaced showing a few farmers joining in with other emergency service workers working together running their tractors across the overwhelming flooded areas in an effort to keep the high waters at a minimum.

See the footage here.

Farmers Prepare to Evacuate

Some local farmers have turned to extreme measures in order to survive the ongoing disaster. They’ve turned to utilizing motorboats and jet skis as rescue methods in order to save their livestock.

One of the farms significantly impacted is Abbotsford, BC in Canada. The 389 km property is known for making agriculture a significant part of the community. Abbotsford alone supplies half of the dairy, eggs and poultry consumed by the Canadian province population of 5.2 million.

Meanwhile, one chicken farmer located in Sumas Prairie said he abandoned 40,000 of his birds after he received an evacuation order on November 16.

In Whatcom County, Washington, another area south of the border, floods are worse than they were in the 1990s. One farmer said his cows were left alone for 36 hours preventing them from being milked. Typically, cows are milked twice a day on average.

Outsider.com