Over 250 Cows Killed on Florida Dairy Farm During Hurricane Ian

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images)

In Manatee County, Florida, Dakin Dairy Farm is dealing not only with property damage from Hurricane Ian, but over 200 dead cows as a result of the storm. Flooding at the farm changed the landscape dramatically, as well as damaged property, and it will most likely take a while to rebuild and recover the land.

Dakin Dairy Farm used to have 2,400 dairy cows on their farm. They lost 250 in the storm, either from drowning or flying debris. “The most cattle we’ve ever lost is eight,” said Courtney Dakin. “We’re up to about 250 right now, and that number is still rising.”

The Dakins are waiting for the state of Florida to advise them on how to dispose of the dead cows. Like these cows who died in the heatwave in Kansas, they may have to take them to the dump as a last resort because the number of carcasses is so high.

Jerry Dakin told FOX13 out of Tampa that there were moments when he felt like crying because of the destruction and stress of the storm. “There’s always a time when you step away, and there’s a cry moment,” he said. “This is my livelihood. I’ve built every bit of this.” Dakin is relieved that none of his employees or family members were injured, though. “There is definitely stress that comes with all this, but God makes us walk through these things and shows us what we need to do,” said Dakin.

The Dakins are still worried that they could lose more cows from disease or illness related to the storm and the influx of dirty water. Farmers in the area are now totaling up their losses and determining how long it will take to recover.

Death Toll Surpasses 100 in Florida in Aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Deaths have skyrocketed past 100 as Hurricane Ian barreled its way through southwest Florida. 54 people have died just in Lee County. As of Tuesday, Oct. 4, 430,000 people are without power in Florida. 1,100 customers in North Carolina and 2,500 in Georgia also remain without power.

Emergency crews and search and rescue teams have done inspections of 45,000 properties since last week. Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s emergency management, said that they’ve searched many homes in the heavily affected areas.

“We’ve been to about every address,” said Guthrie in a briefing. “We believe that we have searched everything very quickly. Now we are going back for a second look. I am not saying we are not going to find anybody else. We may find other people.”

There is some speculation that Lee County waited too long to mandate evacuations when the storm hit, but Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno was quick to push back. “I am confident in our county manager, in our leaders, our governor, all of us in law enforcement, that we got that message out at the right time,” he said.