Over the past weeks the rains have caused the Trinity River to come out of it’s banks to proportions some say is worse than 1994 and 1998. With heavy rains still coming down in the Dallas area the water ends up in the Trinity. Several days later those waters hit Lake Livingston. The only way to accommodate the water in Lake Livingston, the dam must release the same amount coming in or more. With this the Trinity has come up tremendously. As it has almost 500 head of cattle became trapped on several hundred acres along Highway 90 next to the Trinity River. Friday crews went in and found a trail to lead the cattle out on. They were to be led to Highway 90 then driven down Highway 90, through Dayton and south on SH 146 to several hundred acres of high land.
Saturday morning over 50 cowboys arrived with dogs and horses ready to work. As they started out they realized the river had come up almost 18 inches overnight. The trails were out as the water and current were too swift for the horses and the cattle.
They tried a second option herding on a levy next to the river which was also under water. They tried to herd all of them down the trail to the railroad tracks and then to the road. The rail line was shut down as the drive started. Shortly after 10 am half of the herd split and went back to the area they were just removed from. The cowboys herded the remaining cattle to the road where they were held giving the cowboys a chance to bring the remaining herd to the same point.
They were able to herd many to another section of railroad track and run them to join the others. The remaining herd was rescued with air boats. Boat after boat went in to find cattle swimming in 8 to 10 foot waters. They were then tied to the boat and brought o highway 90 where they were loaded onto trailers after a fight.Many calves were also captured and secured on the deck of the boats. Many other boats spotted cattle swimming well away from the herd and rescued them one by one.
Then late this afternoon Highway 90 was closed from Liberty to Dayton and the cattle were herded down the road. Over 300 we surrounded by dogs and cowboys as they started the 9 mile trek.
Hundreds spent the day lining the streets of Dayton as if waiting for a parade.
The herd came into town without incident . However when they approached Highway 146 they tried to break and run in several directions. The dogs worked extra hard to contain them as did the cowboys who continued the drive to the new holding pens.
Many head are either lost or remain in high water and an effort will take place Monday to attempt to save them ,
Cattle is not the only thing. hundreds of deer can be seen seeking high ground. Some does have 4 to 5 fawns with them. In addition hogs are seeking high ground and are plentiful.
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