Cows Drown After Lake Thunderbird Flood Gates Opened - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Cows Drown After Lake Thunderbird Flood Gates Opened

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Flooding causes loss of cattle Flooding causes loss of cattle
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Opened flood gates at Lake Thunderbird have caused widespread flooding along the river banks of Little River in north Seminole County. The relief upstream caused issues for ranchers downstream.

The rancher called this flooding unprecedented for this area. He and his father have owned this land since the 60's and have never seen the Little River come up high. Unfortunately it's also sent $100,000 worth of his herd downstream.

The faint sound of distressed cows can be heard from the bank of the flooded Littler River. Rising water sent Gary Lewis' heard of nearly 100 head scrambling to find higher ground.

Photos shared with us show only their heads above water.

Gary owns several hundred acres of land one mile south of Maud running a long side Little River.

He said his flooded land is the result of the open flood gates relieving the overflowing Lake Thunderbird.

Fast-rising water Monday made it impossible to rescue his stranded herd.

“Right now for those cows right there, there is absolutely nothing I can do. I can't get to them,” said Gary Lewis.

Water rose quickly yesterday climbing nearly two feet with in an hour while Gary struggled to bring his herd to shore.

“It rose so fast that we just had to give up or go down the river ourselves,” said Lewis.

Community members, family, and even the game warden attempted to save these trapped cows, but were unsuccessful. The livestock resisted the help, too afraid to cross the fast moving water.

5/12/2015 Related Story: National Guard Helicopters Help Cattle Stranded By Flood Waters

“A few of them got out right down here below the fences and got up on to the neighbor's pasture,” he said.

Only a handful survived, now moved far from the water's edge.

The rancher hopes as this water continues to recede that he just might be lucky enough to find more of his cattle downstream.

In addition to the potential loss of the majority of his herd, the rancher said several hundred acres of crops were also ruined from the flooding.

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