Herd of cattle swept into river amid Minnesota flooding

More than a dozen cattle ended up on a hillside more than two miles from where they entered the water, a sheriff said.

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By Dennis Romero

A herd of cattle was swept into a raging river amid Minnesota flooding Friday about 87 miles southeast of Minneapolis. Seventeen of the animals survived.

About 40 cattle were in the Zumbro River about 5:30 a.m. near Oxbow Park, north of Byron, Minnesota, said Kevin Torgerson, sheriff of Olmsted County, Minnesota.

"We're having severe flooding," he said.

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Video posted on Facebook showed some of the bovine floating down the river, their heads up for air.

The sheriff said about 15 animals in the herd were discovered alive on a hill above the river more than two miles south of where they went in. Two more were found even further downstream, Torgerson said.

The fate of the other cattle was not yet known.

"Like any severe flooding situation," the sheriff said, "we can’t get to 'em till things calm down."

That could be a while. The National Weather Service has a "hazardous weather outlook" in place for the region Saturday: "Flooding will continue tonight across portions of southeast Minnesota," the service stated.

Sheriff's officials on Friday warned residents not to cross flooded roads.

"Make sure if you see water across or on a roadway do not drive through it," the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office stated on Facebook. "There are still several roads closed."

Melanie Kucera contributed.