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60 cattle swept downriver in southern Minnesota flooding (with video)

Video posted online shows several cows being swiftly pushed downriver in the current.

Posted: Jun 28, 2019 10:52 AM
Updated: Jun 29, 2019 2:46 PM

BYRON, Minn. (AP) — About 60 cattle were swept away from their pasture in southern Minnesota as heavy rainfall caused the Zumbro River to swell.

Photo and video courtesy Donny Ehlenfeldt/Facebook.

Dani Ehlenfeldt woke up to find cows floating down the Zumbro River just outside her window in Byron. 

"We thought they were logs going down and then it turned out to be cows," Ehlenfeldt. "They were struggling to breathe. We saw the mom cows trying to rescue the babies."

Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson says some of the cattle have been located, but it's going to take some time for authorities to access them due to flooding. Some cattle were still unaccounted for as of noon Friday.

Mark Eustice is the owner of the Eustice Cattle Company and says he was shocked to see his cattle gone Friday morning.

"Nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime," Eustice said. 

National Weather Service records show the Rochester International Airport saw about 5 inches of rain during a six-hour period early Friday. Dodge County, to the west, also saw overnight thunderstorms, contributing to flooding of the Zumbro River.

Several roads in the area were covered with water Friday morning and were closed.

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