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Oregon Flooding Hits Inland

December 31, 1998

AURORA, Ore. (AP) _ Oregon’s flooding problems moved from the coast to inland waterways, one of which burst its banks and swept away a pack of panicked llamas.

Firefighters scrambled to help men on rowboats hoist two, saucer-eyed, soggy animals from tangled brush after they were carried 500 yards downstream by the swollen Pudding River east of Salem.

``They were out there swimming for hours, treading water,″ said rancher David Cantwell after his friends saved two of his three llamas that were swept away.

The llamas bolted from an island of dry land into the rushing water early Wednesday while Cantwell and his ranch hands were trying to stack hay bales to keep them above the rising floodwaters.

In the Willamette Valley, the Yamhill and Tualatin rivers crested above flood level, setting the stage for floods similar to those that had plagued the coast earlier in the week.

In the coastal dairy town of Tillamook, victims returned to their homes and businesses to assess the damage as waters continued to recede.

Dairy farmer Butch Schriber said at least three of his 100 cows have contracted mastitis, a water-born bacterial infection that turns cow milk to chunky curds.

``If they get over it in three days, they’ll be okay,″ Schriber said.

The Red Cross pulled out its flood shelter from the Tillamook County fairgrounds as waters retreated, but farther down the coast in Lincoln County, the agency put up 11 displaced families in hotels.

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