Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Logan Goudeau, the Teen Who Rescued Cattle by Helicopter


When Texans fled the Hurricane Harvey, many brought their beloved animals with them. They pushed their dogs in coolers through waist-deep water. They brought rabbits in cages onto rescue boats. They even carried pigs to safety. But to save her family’s animals, Logan Goudeau had to think a little bigger. Goudeau lives in Hungerford, a ranching community 50 miles southeast of Houston. To herd cattle in a flood, residents, including seventeen-year-old Goudeau, turned to helicopters. When Goudeau first heard about the approaching storm on August 24, she left the area for safer ground, spending the weekend with a friend in College Station. On Wednesday, when she was finally able to make it back home, she and her dad drove to their land near the Colorado River to assess the damage. “We got there, and the water was everywhere,” Goudeau said. Some of the cattle were trapped in water that reached midway up their backs. “You could hear the cattle lowing,” she said. “It was heartbreaking, because you knew they just wanted to get on dry land.”

Along with other members of their community, Goudeau and her dad got to work. Their family owns a hay operation, Goudeau Farms Hay, so they drove trailers stacked with hay bales out to shallow water, and loaded the hay onto airboats. The pair made multiple trips each day, delivering the dry nutrients to cattle submerged in belly-deep water to keep them alive. But as the water levels continued to rise until Friday morning, the Goudeaus and their neighbors realized they needed to move the cattle to drier ground. They reached out to ranchers in San Antonio and George West, who often work cattle from helicopters, and put out a call for help. “The word spread like a wildfire,” Goudeau said. “Once they found out we needed help, they were down here before you knew it.”

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