As you may know, western Oregon is currently having near record-levels of flooding across much of the Willamette Valley – endangering both people as well as livestock in the area.
Among those lending a heroic hand were area farm-owners Jared & Christine Anderson. Llama farms dot the Willamette and Yamhill Valley countryside, and the above video done by the area newspaper shows Jared working to rope in & save several llamas from the floods.
You may have seen their guest post on this site where Christine detailed how much care she’s put with her children in fostering and cultivating an intense desire to help others.
Well, you can see that definitely is embodied by her and her husband when it comes to being good neighbors and helping others in the community as well!
Right on, you guys!
Update: Story made front page of the McMinnville News-Register. You can see the full story here. But here’s an excerpt:
Tom Hildahl came home Friday morning from a graveyard shiftto see the pasture between his house on Riverside Loop and the Yamhill River completely flooded. Several hundred yards out, he spotted three of his llamas, which had become stranded.
"Last night, it was all dry out there," Hildahl said. "This morning, the water was up to the ankles of the llamas."
By the time Hildahl and neighbor Jared Anderson managed to get out to them in a rowboat, the water had risen up past their bellies. A channel about 50 yards wide had been carved into the flood plain, making it far from an easy rescue.
Anderson rowed Hildahl out to the llamas, fighting another current coming through a grove of trees near the high ground where they had sought refuge, and Hildahl roped each of them. Then he handed the other ends of the ropes to Anderson and began rowing back with the trio of animals in tow.
"He was paddling for all he was worth," Anderson said, but the llamas, notoriously reluctant swimmers, didn’t make it easy.
The llamas fought furiously to keep their heads above water as the rowboat dragged them along.
One of the llamas was particularly antsy, and managed to tangle itself and one of its comrades in the rope. That served to drag them down, threatening the entire enterprise.
Eventually, the three llamas reached the point where they could get their feet back on the ground. From there, the men were able to lead them back to dry land.
Earlier, Anderson’s wife, Chris, had been walking the neighborhood to make sure all the animals were safe and accounted for. When she ran into Hildahl, and saw that his llamas were stranded, she returned home for rope.
Then they went door to door looking for a boat they could use. Neighbor Paul Kushner not only lent them a rowboat and lifejackets, but loaded them into his truck and delivered them.
That set the stage for the rescue mission mounted by Anderson and Hildahl.
Beforehand, Anderson said, "I was trying not to think about it too much."
Afterward, he said, his legs were exhausted. He said more adrenaline had flowed than he had realized.
With the animals safe inside Hildahl’s barn, the two shook hands.
"I’m Jared, by the way," Anderson said. "Tom," Hildahl replied.
It was an interesting first meeting for the two Riverside Loop residents.