UPDATE: Flash Flood Carries Cows Over Dam and 19-Miles Away – Some Remain Missing

May 15, 2024 at 12:07 pm by WGNS News

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - We are now gaining a better understanding of how unusual the flash flooding was that impacted multiple areas of Middle Tennessee last week... Laura Vaught told WGNS that her family has farmed in the Lascassas community for decades, but has never seen Bradley Creek rise as fast as it did.


Cattle on the Vaught farm, which is in the heart of Lascassas near the intersection of Browns Mill Road and Highway 96, were standing next to Bradley Creek one minute and Thursday morning... About 15-minutes later, the scenario had changed and Laura's dad Mike got a phone call from a friend telling him... Cattle, some weighing almost 300-pounds more than a large Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, were being swept away in the creek they were previously able to wade through.

The sheer number of cows and calves that encountered the fast flowing water in Lascassas is surprising... Out of Vaught's 120 cows, around 100 of them were carried at least some distance in the fast rising water.

Cows, several weighing more than 1,000 pounds, are not exactly agile animals known to go for long swims, but that's exactly what happened. Laura's first confirmation of the cows journey involved someone spotting 2-cows rolling over the Walter Hill Dam...

For the cows to reach the Walter Hill Dam, they had to float 9-miles down Bradley Creek, swim past the rear of the York VA Medical Center... And into the East Fork of the Stones River. From there, the bovine traveled another 2-miles to reach the dam – which added up to an 11-mile trek.

Once at the Walter Hill Dam, one of the cows managed to escape the waterway, pull itself up an embankment and then muster up enough energy to walk across Highway 231 North (Lebanon Pike)... The meandering cow was located this past Friday on Central Valley Road.

The search for Vaught's cows, which started this past Thursday, continued into Saturday, where 19-miles later...

Initially, the Vaught's feared the worst, but their apprehension turned to gratitude and astonishment as call after call poured in from area residents who discovered their waterlogged, but surviving cows throughout the community in the days that followed last week's storms.

As of Wednesday (05/15/24) morning... The missing calves are several months old and already weigh between 300 and 500 pounds each.

So far, all of the cows that have been located have been found alive and well. Surprisingly, many of the mama cows that were found were confirmed to be pregnant.

The Vaught family says that in over 4-decades of farming, they've never witnessed a flash flood rise so quickly in Lascassas, nor have they ever seen their cows carried 19-miles away by water - - with some cows ending up on Interstate 840.


CONTACT: If you find a calf, call Mike at 615-396-7208, or reach out to Houston at 615-556-9625, you can also call Laura at 615-585-7026. 


BELOW: See the map of where the Vaught's cattle has been located below. 

Again, as of this morning (Wednesday, May 15, 2024), up to 8 calves remain missing and unaccounted for.

The Vaught family has said that they sincerely appreciate the 40+ people who have helped with rescue and outreach efforts. They are also thankful for the phone calls and Facebook messages from area residents, some of which resulted in the rescue of animals.

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