Pryor Rancher Feels Loss From Flood

Monday, May 4th 2009, 4:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

PRYOR, OK -- Pryor's devastating flooding has cost one rancher thousands of dollars, but the loss is about more than just money.

Tony and Trudie Fell have run their Pryor ranch for 37 years and in all those years they've never lost more than one cow from flooding.  Over the weekend, they lost 30. Almost every single one was a calf, born two months ago.  That's one-third of their livestock.

The flood also destroyed about 90 bales of hay.  The Fells say the financial loss is around $18,000 and they'll feel its effects through next year because they have calves to sell at the spring auction.   

They're now beginning to clean up their 360 acre farm, and the debris is everywhere. Most of the fence line is ruined and will need to be replaced.

Trudie Fell says because the rains were so powerful and the creeks flooded so fast, the calves never had a chance.

"We've had baby calves out here in the past with the floods and they've managed to get to higher ground.  But this time, there was no higher, no high ground.  It's like dumping five gallons of water at a time on top of them.  There's just no place to go," said Trudie Fell.

Mrs. Fell says the money loss doesn't compare to how devastated she is at the loss of so many animals she helped deliver just two months ago.