Rain wreaks havoc on ranchers

The gods must be crazy, the weather gods that is.

The gods must be crazy, the weather gods that is.

I sit here, in my corner of the Cariboo, gazing out at another perfect (windy) fall day, which has been the norm here this past week; a fact that makes it hard to conceptualize the crazy extreme West-Chilcotin-weather in which brutal winds, torrential rain, sleet and/or snow has culminated, once again, in ruinous flooding.

Last Friday, members of the B.C. Livestock Co-op gathered at 2 p.m. for the annual general meeting (followed by a social/steak dinner).

Walt Foster (a former director of B.C. Livestock Co-op) and his wife, Carol (Sand Creek Ranch/Tatla Lake) attended; then spent the night in Williams Lake before heading home (normally a four-hour trek) on Saturday but they didn’t make it home as planned.

Severe overnight flooding (torrential rains Friday night) wreaked havoc with their route, denying all access to home. It was totally unforeseen as there had been no weather warning.

The couple had to retreat to Tatla Lake (for the night) and formulate an alternate plan to get home, which would be a far more complicated ordeal than most of us will ever have to endure to access our residence.

Walt had to low bed his excavator to the crossing area; where upon he chained his ATV to the excavator bucket which he dangled out across the raging waters to set the ATV down on the opposite bank.

Then he and Carol made their way across and made the five-mile trip to the house in thigh-deep water (seated on the ATV). Luckily the house was high and dry, unlike the hayfield where 80 large round bales floated like mini-islands in the floodwaters.

This is the third such event in this calendar year for this ranching operation; optimism is getting harder to dredge up in the aftermath of each event.

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.