Cows in water over their heads; deputies rescue stranded cattle

Motorist alerts authorities to cattle stranded in Twelve Mile Bayou
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Caddo sheriff's deputies saved four cows and two Longhorns on Feb. 26 from the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The cows were trying to stay afloat in water that was over their heads.

Others were tangled in heavy underbrush.

That was the situation Monday morning for several head of cattle caught in the rising waters of Twelve Mile Bayou.

But some tense moments gave way to a happy ending at the site alongside Interstate 49 between North Market Street and Louisiana Highway 173, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said.

It was a motorist on I-49 who spotted the cows about 10 a.m. and notified authorities.

After getting caught up in brush and trees, several of the animals were treading water just to stay alive until help could arrive.

Sheriff's deputies pulled two Longhorns to higher ground on the levee.

And they roped the cows and used boats to pull them to safety.

"They were able to pull them up from the brush. And I know they rescued a baby and, I think, a Momma," Caddo sheriff's Sgt. Pamela Purgerson said.

The four cows have since been taken to a different location.

Sheriff's Office officials said they warned farmers and ranchers about threat of flooding along the highway/

And when it arrived, it happened all-too-quickly.

Livestock owner Ed Jorden said he had about 30 head of cattle just west of a bridge and the southbound lanes of I-49.

The cattle were on high ground until several wandered into Twelve Mile Bayou, he said, where they floated about a quarter mile downstream before getting caught up in trees and brush.

Jorden added that just like during flooding two years ago, he's grateful for all the help, especially from the Sheriff's Office once again.

"They helped us last time. We had to cross last time. We crossed 100 cows across I-49 up here, and they stopped traffic and helped us. And they really helped us this time."

Some deputies couldn't help but get a little emotional seeing the animals struggling to survive.

"All of us were standing there upset because, you know, you could hear them and we couldn't get to them," Purgerson recalled.

"But our Marine (Patrol) lieutenant, Donna Jackson, she got here really quick with the boat and we were able to get them out."

Several sources said they thought they had spotted another calf make it to dry ground farther down, ending this ordeal on a positive note.

Fortunately, spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said, the Sheriff's Office has had no other reports of livestock or other animals getting trapped or killed by high waters.

And authorities hope it stays that way.

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