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Flooding at Jess Dunn Correctional Center chases cows to higher ground

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

TAFT, Okla -- What was a path to the cattle pasture is now a road to nowhere. According to Terry Fry with Agri-Services, “I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve been at Jess Dunn for 20 years and never anything close to this.” 

The swollen Arkansas River began spilling into the meadows of Jess Dunn Correctional Center. 

Workers had only a few hours to move two hundred head of cattle. According to Fry, “We had cattle where that building is Tuesday night. It’s halfway submerged right now.”

Using a John Deere tractor and a bucket of feed, they were able to lure the herd to higher ground. Fry said, “Calves had to do a little swimming to get to the other side. But we saved them all.”

But there is no saving 270 acres used to produce hay for Jess Dunn and other prisons. Fry said, “This right here is my hay meadow for the summer. I don’t know if we can get enough for our own cattle let alone carry over. It’s going to be costly for us.”

It could be a month or more for the waters to recede and to begin assessing the scope of damage left behind by Mother Nature.

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