'A bad situation': Minnesota farmer searches riverbanks for cattle swept away by flood

A southern Minnesota farmer who had dozens of cattle swept away by flood waters Friday is continuing to search for the missing animals this weekend.

Bob Eustice said 56 cattle were caught up in the Zumbro River near Byron after torrential rain swamped the area late Thursday into early Friday. Video of the animals caught in the flooded river was widely viewed online.

Eustice told MPR News on Saturday that 30 of those cattle from his family's farm have been located so far. Eustice spoke by phone after traveling a few miles north to the Genoa area to try to find others; he was following the sounds of a calf.

"I'm out in the middle of a woods, looking for where the calf is bellowing," he said. "So we got a bad situation."

But Eustice said he's hopeful that the remaining animals will be found alive, because he had not seen any dead cattle while searching along the river. Floodwaters in that area, northwest of Rochester, were receding Saturday.

Once the river is back within its banks, Eustice said there will be more work to do.

"We've got to redo our fences for our pasture — and the pastures are pretty well gone now because the water took all the grass," he said.

Eustice said he has set up a temporary corral to hold the cattle.

Elsewhere in southern Minnesota, Friday's heavy rain — more than a half-foot in some locations — has caused new headaches for many farmers who have been unable to plant crops because of weeks of wet weather.

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