Update Jan. 26, 2:45 p.m. — According to an afternoon update that was provided to the Union Town Manager, Jay Feyler, four cows succumbed after a barn collapsed this morning on the North Union Road. Another cow was seriously injured.
Along with the owners and the fire department, many local farmers showed up to assist in getting the animals out, preserving the lives of about 30 more cows, who were rescued and seem to be in good condition, according to the update.
The fire department and community assistance finished working at approximately 2:30 p.m.
“No official determination has been made, but it is assumed that snow and rain saturation were all factors,” said the update.
UNION (6:15 a.m. posting) — Union firefighters planned to return to the scene of a barn collapse as soon as the sun came up, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, hoping that visibility would guide them where darkness and driving rain could not.
Knox Regional Communications Center received a report at approximately 3:50 a.m., regarding a barn collapse with animals inside. As firefighters associated with Union and Washington fire departments arrived on scene, they were tasked not only with stabilizing the structure, but with helping to calm the 50 cows that needed to be extricated from 779 North Union Road. The particular structure on the property is not visible from the roadway, but is described as a separate wing running perpendicular from the main barn.
Instead of hoses, firefighters made sure their trucks were equipped with chain saws and other extrication gear. By 5 a.m., the cows had been calmed and the structure was deemed stable enough to wait while personnel re-grouped and re-equipped. When the sun comes up, the crews will return to the scene and work with the property owners on creating a new plan for retrieving the cows.
However, approximately half an hour after leaving the scene, Union FD was called to a flooded basement (as was Warren FD for their town). The rain storm is wreaking havoc by producing spots of flooding on roadways, drenching pedestrians, and prompting two-hour delays for some school districts and municipal offices.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org