Ranches Hurt by Rita

By: Lee Cowan
By: Lee Cowan

The new coastline of Louisiana is some 10 miles from where it should be. Acre after acre of rice fields and ranchland are now soaking in seawater.

Kevin Segrera has another crop he's worried about, alligators. Thousands in his now inundated farm may die from the salt water.

Kevin says, "It's too early to tell. It could be catastrophic, but it's hard to tell."

They're worth $13 million when they grow up, if they grow up.

Then there are cattle ranchers; many of whom looked more like shipboard captains than anything else. When the water came, most had no choice but to run and come back for the livestock later.

Something you don't see every day is a cattle drive through water, on both sides. It's the only way to get them out. In fact, this is the first day they could get them out."

At least what's left.

Rancher Harris Stelly figures he's lost half his heard.

Harris says, "I don't know what to think, it's a mess. You just can't deal with it."

But there were victories, however small.

Sheila Cox says, "Oh, my friend, she kept telling us she was looking for her cat, which we figured was long gone, but much to our surprise and hers, she wasn't. She sat there hugging her for a good 15 minutes.”

It was one buoyant moment in a sickening sea that can't recede fast enough.


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