Cattle rescued from field as Central Texas river rises

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VALLEY MILLS, Texas (KWTX) The rising river levels in Bosque County led to a dangerous situation for livestock stuck in a pasture in Valley Mills.

(Photo by Greg Moore)

Close to two-dozen head of cattle at the bottom of the North Bosque River had to be wrangled and moved to higher ground around 2pm Tuesday.

“They were stranded, there was no way for them to get to higher pastures, so if the water would have kept coming into the pasture further they would have gotten really stuck, or really hurt, or washed away,” said owner Jennifer Pliscott.

Pliscott, the co-owner of Valley Mills Feed & Hardware, said the cattle, mostly heifers, were safely transported to a friend’s property up FM 56 thanks to help from community members who helped as firefighters shutdown roads.

"The volunteer fire department came and said 'we need to move 'em, and we need to move 'em now,” said Pliscott. “It was scary, especially because we have a newborn in the field.”

A friend named Greg Moore captured the rescue on camera.

"It was an amazing experience that so many people in this town care and that they were willing to walk out of their houses and see what we were doing and help,” said Pliscott.

Bosque County Sheriff’s officials said people with livestock need to keep an eye on them during this round of weather.

“You need to really think about your animals and get ‘em to shelter and get ‘em to higher ground because I think this is supposed to continue on for the next three or four days, so no telling how much more water we’re gonna get,” said Capt. Larry Betik.

The wet weather and rising water levels had already led to several road closures and accidents by Tuesday evening, Betik said.

"It’s not that bad, but it's starting to get that bad with the water rising and the wrecks, and the rivers are coming up,” said Betik. “"If you come across a low water crossing that's got water in it, turn around, don't drown, don't be somebody that we has to go out and notify you're family that you're not coming home."

Some of the road closures and areas they were monitoring included FM 216 in Iredell, and FM 219 and Riverside Drive in Clifton, he said.

“All the sheriff’s department is on-call tonight,” Betik said Tuesday evening.

According to Bosque County Emergency Management officials, because of the wet weather, pot holes were starting to develop on Highway 6 between Valley Mills and Clifton.

However, the highway was still “open and passable” Tuesday night.

The flood warning for the North Bosque River remained in effect Tuesday night: the river broke flood stage, reaching 36.24 feet at 7:45pm and was expected to crest near 37 feet after midnight, according to Bosque County EMC.

The river should fall below flood stage Wednesday morning, officials said.

“Keep an eye on them (livestock) especially if you’re by a river, ya know, we go from extreme drought to extreme flash flooding in a matter of a week,” said Pliscott. “Crazy Texas weather.”