Hay Situation Emerges After Washington Waters Recede

Although the floodwaters that covered much of western Washington earlier this month have receded, they left a lot of damage--and a lot of ruined hay and grain. The horse community is working together to help those in need, and some businesses are also chipping in.

People from around the country have sent donations to www.flakesale.com, raising more than $10,000 so far. For flood victims who have a lot of debris to clear away, some of the counties are offering free waste disposal.

Despite being a flood victim herself, Washington resident Catherine Coats jumped at the chance to seek assistance for fellow horse owner Josie Owens. Coats set up personal accounts for Owens at both flakesale.com and her local feed supply--which offered a discount on items purchased with the money in the account--so that friends could contribute directly.

Coats explained that the area horse community is close-knit. During strong weather, natural disasters, or other times of need, a 22-person phone tree of horse owners is activated so they can check in on each other to see what is needed.

"Horse people are always doing for each other," she said.

Hay prices in Washington are currently $200 to $260 per ton, according to the state's Hay Growers' Association.

Go to www.flakesale.com for more information.

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Jennifer Walker

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