When Susan and David Godfrey heard weather reports on Thursday that there was heavy rainfall, and possible flooding, expected in the Randolph area, she didn’t think the downpour would affect their commercial black angus cow ranch on Limestone Run Road in Limestone, N.Y.
The Godfreys, as well as Bill and Karley Rounsville, owners of Mystic Water Resort on Parkside Drive in Limestone, received quite the surprise at about 6 p.m. on the Fourth of July when water from Limestone Creek rose high enough to cause flooding at both businesses.
While the water eventually subsided, the Godfreys and Rounsvilles were busy Friday repairing downed fences and restoring a driving range, respectively.
Susan Godfrey said she had heard there was flooding expected in other areas, but never thought the water would flood Limestone Brook which flows through her farm property from the Allegany State Park area.
“I think the cloud came down through there and really saturated the (brook) and the water came up,” Godfrey surmised. “I have to have major fencework done.”
She explained that the electric fence which surrounds her pasture was knocked over by the gushing water from the brook.
“That’s the reason (the 10 cows and six calves) were all standing there for hours” in the field covered with water, she remarked. “It was because they were surrounded by the electric fence. “We couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t move.
“It was probably up to your thighs and it was raging,” she said of the water in the pasture. “There was no way you could have stood up in it.”
Godfrey said when she made an emergency 911 call, the Limestone Volunteer Fire Department arrived at their property within a short space of time.
“I knew they couldn’t help me get these cows, but I knew if those cows went in (the water) there was going to be carcasses down the road,” she explained. “I just wanted to let somebody know what to do” with the animals.
As it turned out, the cows were eventually able to walk through the water to the barn, one by one with their calves.
“Our fire department is unbelievable, they were right there,” Godfrey added. She noted that one firefighter came back to the farm later that night to make sure they didn’t need additional help.
“That’s the kind of community Limestone is,” she stated.
At Mystic Water, Bill Rounsville said he, too, was surprised by how quickly the water came up.
“We probably got 2 inches (of rainwater) in two hours,” Rounsville speculated. “The pond (at the resort) came up quite a bit, but it didn’t go over the bank.”
Rounsville said he closed the resort Friday because he had to work on the driving range near the pond which had been flooded. The resort will be reopened today, he added.
“You know, when we get that much rain, it can’t go in the ditches fast enough,” he concluded. “It was raining where you could hardly see outside, the wind was blowing sideways … and it washed out some driveways over in town.”