Cows swept away by flash flooding in southeastern Minnesota

Flash flooding in southeastern Minnesota swept away a herd of cows Friday morning. A video taken by Don Ehlenfeldt in Oxbow Park near Byron at 6:45 a.m. shows the cows floating downstream. 

The owner of the cows, Bob Eustice, said 57 cows from his farm near the Zumbro River were swept away.  

Heavy rain overnight likely caused the water to rise in a creek that runs through the pastures, and the cows were swept downstream into the river, according to Capt. Mike Bromberg, director of emergency management for Olmsted County. 

Several of the cows have been located on a bank downriver, but the water remains high, and crews have no way to get to them until it recedes, he said. He estimated the cows were swept about one and a half to two miles downstream. 

Officials said 35-40 of the cows have been recovered, and they are still searching. 

Around 10 a.m., Olmsted County Emergency Management reported water covering the roadway on County Road 103 east of the park. According to the Facebook page, Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo are currently closed due to flooding from the recent rain. 

Bromberg said three or four roads remain closed in the county for water on the roadway.