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Whatcom County dairy farmers hit hard by extensive flooding

Floodwaters may be receding, but the full damage to Whatcom County farms may not be known for some time.

EVERSON, Wash. — The threat of flooding may be over for now in Whatcom County, but many farmers are still dealing with the impact of this week's historic weather.

Hans Wolfisberg is the owner of Edelweiss Dairy, a small organic producer that mostly serves customers in Washington state.

“That was far and beyond anything, ever,” Wolfisberg said.

This week, his focus wasn't producing milk. He fought to keep the cattle above water – literally. A foot of water came into the barn Tuesday when the neighboring Nooksack River flooded.

RELATED: Floodwaters continue to rise in area north of Sumas

Everyone is okay, but the pain is still very real.

“My heart goes out to other dairymen and people that are losing a lot of what they worked so hard for,” he said.

Early this week, much of Lynden was underwater. Farmers' fields flooded and more than 100 residents were evacuated from their homes. 

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The major flood concern has come and gone, but in parts of the county, there is still plenty of standing water, an issue that will take days, if not weeks, to resolve.

Days later, some roadways are still impassable and many fields are still underwater. The extent of the damage may not be known until all the water subsides.

“I think dairy will be taking the brunt of this. Certainly, it was a challenge dealing with it, and they will continue to deal with struggles related to this for some time,” said Dillion Honcoop of the nonprofit Whatcom Family Farmers.

Wolfisberg and his dairy are out time and money, but he said they will be back to full production soon. They are safe but exhausted. 

“I’m more tired from the stress than from the workload,” Wolfisberg said.

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