Cattle trapped by waters

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, April 8, 2008

NATCHEZ — As the Mississippi continues its journey upward most residents and camp owners along its banks have left for higher ground.

But on a farm off Carthage Point Road a small herd of cattle have taken refuge on the last available spot of dry land, yet unclaimed by the river.

Since most of Carthage Point Road is underwater the herd’s owner, C.P. Wallace, 80, said he has no way to retrieve the cows from their ever-shrinking home along the river.

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“There’s not too much ground out there,” he said.

Wallace said he would hate to lose any of his herd, approximately 22 cows and calves, but he’s not sure what he can do to help them.

Wallace said a barge docked near his property could be used to load the cows and float them to safety.

Wallace said he has gotten permission from the barge owner to use the craft.

But Wallace’s plan for the barge and cows may not be enough to save the cows.

Wallace said he has contacted the Adams County Sheriff’s Office to ask for their assistance.

Sheriff Ronny Brown said Wallace has requested the use of a motor from the Adams County Department of Civil Defense to power the barge once the cattle have been loaded.

However Brown said the motor Wallace is asking for simply does not exist.

Brown also said that he has heard from several people that the barge is too big to fit into the area where the cows are.

“Right now we don’t have a clear answer,” he said.

But the problems the rising river has created go beyond stranded cattle.

South of Natchez, near Lake Mary, rising floodwaters topped a levee surrounding a wheat field.

In several spots the water streamed over the sides quickly dumping water in the field.

In one spot a large break in the levee allowed water to rush in at an unimaginable rate.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy Stephen Guido patrolled the river by helicopter Sunday, and he said Monday the large break was not in the levee the day before.

“It’s definitely new,” he said.

Southwest Mississippi EPA’s personnel and public relations coordinator, Azalea Knight, said rising water in the Lake Mary area forced a disconnection of electricity to the area.

The power has been turned off until further notice.