Their dairy cattle all survived the flooding on Sumas Prairie.
But now, there’s a new problem for some of the animals on the Doppenberg farm: Pneumonia.
“Some animals, especially the younger calves are having issue with pneumonia because they were in water a couple hours,” said dairy farmer James Doppenberg.
On Tuesday, a vet was at their farm, checking on the cattle.
“Its stressful, especially for the younger ones if they’ve been flooded and they’ve been standing in water for any amount of time. They’re more affected by things,” explained veterinarian John Dick.
When the first flooding hit the farm a couple weeks ago, the cold water came up fast.
“I would say it was up to (the calves’) necks,” said Laurie Doppenberg, who works with her husband and son James on the farm.
At one point, the Doppenbergs, desperate to get their calves somewhere safe, moved them into the basement of their home.
Then the house started flooding. They scrambled to get the calves to higher ground.
But some animals have since fallen sick with pneumonia. The vet said despite what they’ve been through, the animals are faring well.
For the Doppenbergs and others in the area, flooding has been a constant focus over the last two weeks.
There are many flooded and damaged roads on Sumas Prairie. Fields remain swallowed up by flood waters.
“I’m trying to be positive and hopeful because I sure do not want to move those animals again,” Laurie said. Thousands of animals were rescued from Sumas Prairie after the first flooding a couple weeks ago. Some farmers have since been able to move their herds back.
While farmers focus on what’s ahead, the community rallies behind them.
Gateway Community Church in Abbotsford has turned a space in their church into a donation centre.
“It is amazing. We are getting people phoning constantly about ‘What do you need? Where can we donate? How can we help?’” explained Milt Walker, who is in charge of food distribution at the church.
He said donations have come from throughout the Lower Mainland.
“We’ve probably had two or three tonnes of food come in” Walker said.
He said all the food being donated is being distributed. Volunteers are also delivering meals to those who need them.
With the water rising again in some parts of Abbotsford, the offers of support from the community are bringing hope to those who need it most.