In what looked like a scene from an old western movie, Texas cowboys drove 500 head of cattle across nine miles of land to escape flooding that had left them stranded on a continuously shrinking plot of dry ground.
The flood waters from Memorial Day weekend had not entirely receded yet in the small town of Dayton Northeast of Houston when more torrential rains raised the level of the Trinity river up past its banks and into the pastures.
Around 7 am Sunday morning, owner Pat Hencey began the rescue effort to move cattle from what had been 1800 acres and was now swiftly diminishing to near 50 due to the rising river level.
Some of the younger calves had to be moved over the flood waters via airboats, but most of the cows were driven by cowboys in the same style that moved cattle across the nation 200 years ago. Some of the cattle did not survive, but thanks to the preserved traditions of Texas cowboys, most of the 500 cattle made it to their destination at CMC Rail Yard.
Once word got out, Dayton residents packed the streets with families and picnics to watch the cattle drive. “This is something, it’s really a taste of the Old West coming back in here,” Dayton resident Ricky Brown told KHOU.
Dayton resident Aaron Privett brought his four daughters and his fiancé to watch the action, “To me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You get to see something you don’t see every day,” Privett said.
Captain Ken DeFoor of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office stated that the cattle would remain at the CMC Rail Yard until the rain waters receded.