The Historic Flood of Nashville - May 2010
RESEARCH HERD IMPACTED
Major flooding along the Cumberland River in May 2010 dealt a major setback to the TSU meat goat research herd. The breeding program lost about 40% of the doe herd, equating to just under 100 does. Some timely work over a 48-hour period Sunday and Monday resulted in the rescue of nearly 200 head. There were several stories being told that the entire research herd was lost with numbers reaching as high as 500 head. Incredible, but inaccurate. In total, the breeding program lost 134 head including kids. We had a May 2010 kidding session, but little data was collected as most of the equipment and supplies were damaged or lost. Twenty feet of floodwater standing for 3-4 days can cause some major problems.
In the photograph, the TSU goat research farm starts at the tree line just to the right of the line of barges.
RESTOCKING THE HERD
The last half of 2010 was spent on the road acquiring breeding stock to maintain breed evaluation efforts. We moved into 2011 without missing a beat as just over 200 Boer, Kiko, Myotonic, and Spanish does were exposed to kid in March and May. Despite some comments to the contrary, our research continues. We still have some major renovations to accomplish in the area of infrastructure. We currently operate from a temporary trailer. Nevertheless, Priority One was having a fully restocked herd for the 2010-2011 production year.
Like folks all around Nashville, we sure hope the rain and subsequent flooding experienced last May remain in the category of a 500-to-1000-year weather event.
FEB 2012 - PHASE II - DOELINGS PRODUCTION
Recovery efforts are ongoing with a target date of Sept. 2012 to have the herd back to a point of resuming Phase Two of the Evaluation Project. The reconstructed breeding herd is in its second year of producing replacement doelings to restart the Phase Two effort.
The temporary office trailer is now gone, but flood debris continues to be removed from the pastures. The ultrasound system was just found in a wooded area a couple of weeks ago. The first post-flood outreach goat program was successfully held last September with a over 100 producers in attendance. A return to normalcy has been at a slow but steady, forward-moving pace.
EXPERIENCES OF THE FLOOD
Below are some reports on our experience with the Cumberland River Flood.