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[RC] flooding in Calif - Kathie Ford

I was in a flood once when I lived in San Jose.  My friend in Holister (Maryben you know her it was Carla Setzer)..
Anyway, the levi broke and water decided to flow right thru her driveway into her pastures.  We got a call at 7am to go help.  I pulled my oldest daughter out of school to help.
We were told the water was only knee deep, but by the time we got there we were more than waist high and we saw my friend trying to get the horses out.  She lives off 152.  CHP was kind enough to cover that highway and her street which intersected.
We had all the trailers there as the water was only a few inches there.  As we walked down towards her property about 1/2 mile I couldn't believe what I saw!  We saw most of the horses in the pasture by the gate.  And they were very glad to see us.  We had to make sure the hot wires were off too.  We waded to the tack room to get halters.  As we approached the horses they all came forward towards us.  We got inside and calmly put their halters on.  They were amazingly calm; and it almost seemed they knew we were there to get them out.  Nobody fought or got unruly or paniked.  The tricky part was opening the gate with the current.  You could feel things brushing and banging onto your legs and we didn't dare guess what they were.
We got the horses out and tried to lead them thru the driveway to the main road and it was hard because we were going against the current.  Almost knocked us off our feet a few times.  Fortunately my friend worked as a vet tech and the vet closed his practice that day to come and help.  He brought trailers and staff.  Plus, he was 6'7 and we needed his height.  We basically leapfrogged the horses to him and a few others and we all clung to the cyclone fence.  Then when we got the horses close to the road they all suddenly "leaped" forward as a herd and go to the road.  A few got loose but stayed with the others so we could grab them. 
At the beginning my friend didn't know where to take them, but when the traffic had been stopped there was a nice gal that lived up the road and was above the levi with no flooding.  She offered my friend her pasture and a barn as long as she needed.  She had been watching us try to get them out.
My friend ended up in an ambulance with hypothermia.
The vet was worried about a goat we couldn't get, but we figured he'd be okay cause he climbed up on a huge stack of hay and was okay.
The last horse we had to get out was one of her stallions.  Her boyfriend and sister had him (he was in a stall and paddock) but he got scared and they dropped the lead rope.  He started heading for the pasture which was getting deeper by the minute (water was not up to our chests).  We panicked, but he saw his food bowl float by and decided to grab a bit (silly horse) and her boyfriend was able to get back to him and finally lead him out holding onto the fence. 
After we got all of them out, the fence collapsed and all the trailers and vehicles started floating away towards the pasture!!!!  I've never seen things that heavy and large get carried away by water!  It was "surreal".
Anyway, her sister and I tried to get out the driveway but couldn't go farther with out holding on to something.  So we had to be rescued!!  Search and rescue!
You know, we were so focused on the animals we didn't even realize how dangerous that it was. 
Three weeks later, all is well, but some of us got horrible rashes all up and down our legs, and tons of bruises!  But those animals cooperated and all ended well!
I hope all of you in the mid-west dealing with this terrible weather are okay.  In a small way I know what you are dealing with.
hope your all okay,

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