100-year flash flood leaves Hereford, Texas, underwater

After months of severe drought, the floodgates have opened for many areas of the High Plains, creating new challenges. Hereford, Texas, one of the largest cattle feeding areas in the U.S., saw historic rainfall this month when 8-10 inches of rain accumulated in the Texas Panhandle town.

On May 26, at least 2.45 inches of rain fell in 40 minutes, causing the water to rise around the town. The flash flood event left residents with little time to prepare and since the geographic area is extremely flat, the water had no natural exit. Since the Panhandle only averages 15 to 25 inches annually, flooding is not a scenario the area experiences very often.

The rising water caused evacuations of homes and devastating impacts to the agricultural industry. Crops were underwater and livestock owners, dairies and feedlots are reporting many animal deaths. The exact number is unknown at the moment, but with the large concentration of feedlots, the death loss is expected to be high. Fortunately, the water is now receding from the area around Hereford. Right now, feedlots are working to pump water out of pens, clean up the after effects of the flood waters and move cattle to dry pens.

The weather forecast shows potential for more rain on the way, so the flooding conditions could return soon.

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].