‘Unimaginable’: Western Washington dairy farmers reeling from flood devastation
Signs of flood waters remain around Baumgardner Dairy, seen from the air on Nov. 24, 2021, in Mount Vernon, Washington. - Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/TNS

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The Baumgardner family knows the risks of flooding well. Their sprawling Baumgardner Dairy Farm sits just south of the Skagit River, which is so routinely swollen by rainwater and snowmelt that the nearby city of Mount Vernon built a floodwall. So as the rain kept falling hard the night of Nov. 14 and the Baumgardners herded their cows to fenced “critter pads” on higher ground, everything looked wet but normal, said Jordan Baumgardner, who helps manage the dairy farm owned by his father, David Baumgardner. But the resulting flood proved to be unlike any other the family h...