INDIAN CREEK FLOOD
Storms raging in western SD that week they were preparing for a thunderstorm and possibly hail. They put some of the more valuable horses up in the barn moved the new vehicle in. Rearranged some of the horses in the Corral. Bruce Crago called that evening and said "I think we could flood tonight". Not thinking anything of it Chuck had already moved horses around. Chuck and Jade then went to bed for the night. Mary was watching TV and heard cats outside meowing a horrible screeching sound. She went outside to see what was going on. It was a sight no one was prepared for. The grain shed was floating down stream and her living quarter horse trailer still hooked up to a dually crew cab was floating. Mary ran back to wake up Chuck and Jade
Chuck and Jade run outside. Water was already knee deep, they opened what pens they could get open and turn horses free to higher ground. Turning mares, geldings and yearling studs all together. This was their only option to try and save them. There couldn’t get to all the pens by that point without risking their own lives being swept away. Just imagine the feeling of seeing horses with only their heads above water, and there was nothing you can do about it. By the time they got back to the house water was coming in the entry way of the home. The creek was raging. Water came hard and fast. Like nothing they had ever seen in 26 years of living there.
By this point vehicles were under water. The road to get out was flooded, there was water all around them looking much like being in the middle of a huge lake. A gut wrenching feeling none of them had ever experienced. What do we do now? The thought of having to get a helicopter to come rescue them. They thought maybe we can get out and go north through the water in the dark night. As lightning was cracking in the dark eerie sky they decided to stay put.
They took turns sleeping in shifts. Around 3:30 A.M. the rain had let up some. Mary couldn’t stand the thought of the mares drowning. She went out to check on the horses in the barn. The water had went down enough for her to open a small walk though door as she seen 4ft of water. (Now visualize all the barn doors being shut the barn filled up with water. Horses in stalls and her vehicle parked inside.) With a relief of seeing the horses still alive Mary grabbed a halter and went to ketch Chuck's ranch and roping mare Baldy. Who was turned in with the younger mares all trapped in a pen. Surprisingly they were all still there and the water had went down some, now only chest deep. Mary opened some gates and started leading baldy to higher ground as some of the two year old mares followed. Mary and baldy had to go back for a second trip hoping all the yearling mares followed this time, as they did. This showed a true testament of the solid great minded horses Chuck and Mary have bred. They stayed calm and level headed to lead them to safety. As the sleepless night continued on all they could do is wait and pray it didn’t get any worse and pray all the horses and fall calves would be alive come light.
As daylight hit things were much worse than anyone could have ever imagined. No one knew Indian Creek was capable with only being 20ft across to stretching over a mile wide during the raging flood. One of the worst sights a rancher can imagine. Your ranch in pieces. For the livelihood of a rancher this is one of the most significant tools besides pastures and water.
Now visualize all of the working corrals and pens just gone. Miles of Pipe continuous panels and windbreaks demolished. The grain shed had floated down stream, and 60ft heavy duty round pen gone. Bale and grain feeders floated away. All the barns were 4-5ft deep. Think of all the tools, machinery items, tack, saddles, bridles, calf warmer, hay, grain, automatic waters, gates, fencing supplies. A whole shed of equipment gone. Lawnmower, weed eaters, a generator big enough to run the place just ruined. Miles and Miles of pasture fencing gone and ruined. Not to mention all their vehicles flooded and had to be towed to town. To think of the amount of money in all the items lost or ruined will make you sick. Not to mention the labor and amount of hours just put into the cleanup alone. Some of the vehicles paid off now useless to them. Thank god Insurance should cover them as for the rest of the damage there is no flood coverage!!!
Please open your hearts and do whatever you can to help this family get through this time. We are all so grateful they are with us today. And with all the help and support of the amazing ranching community we will help them rebuild their ranch.
- Penney Dyer
- Christine Hladik
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more