Mandy McIvor with one of her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Mandy McIvor with one of her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds

FLOODING: Woman’s desperate measure to save horses

A WOMAN has gone to extreme lengths to save her beloved horses from Townville floodwater.

Mandy McIvor risked her own life during the mass rainfall event on Wednesday, swimming her horses through flooded paddocks.

Ms McIvor lives on acreage at Hammond Way, Kelso; arguably Townsville's wettest street.

On Wednesday morning she woke about 5am to find her paddocks flooded with four of her horses seeking safety on a small patch of the grass In the furthest paddock from her house that had yet to go under.

"When I saw them out there my heart melted and I was in tears so I rang my boss at Torgas and she said can you swim them over and I'm thinking 'you want me to get in this water'." Ms McIvor said.

"Then she told me to call the SES … they referred me to the RSPCA but they didn't open til 10am and it was going to be too late by then.

"With help from my neighbours and friends we went out for the horses."

Ms McIvor and her friends trekked through what used to be a raised path on a neighbour's property, through shoulder deep water and had to cut several paddock fences before they finally made it through to the horses.

Townsville suburbs were flooded through out the city. Mandy McIvor with her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Townsville suburbs were flooded through out the city. Mandy McIvor with her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds

With the Bohle River rising at the rear of her property she had less than 30 minutes to get the animals to safety and was 300m away from her house as the crow flies, an estimated 1km by the route she had to take..

At its worst, Ms McIvor estimates the water was 10m deep.

"The paddock started going under and we had them on that raised bit of road when me and Apache went to cross and were pushed off into the deeper water," she said.

"We started floating down river and I just started kicking … we were swimming and then the little foal started to get swept away and my friend Katherine was just holding onto this rope trying to get him back."

The foal managed to be pulled to safety and Mandy and Apache made it to shore.

She now has five horses taking refuge around her home and under her balcony.

Keeping them company are two dogs, several chickens that were also saved when floodwater threatened their coup, and a number of peacocks that usually occupy the paddocks.

Townsville suburbs were flooded through out the city. Mandy McIvor with her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Townsville suburbs were flooded through out the city. Mandy McIvor with her horses she saved from drowning on Hammond Way Kelso. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Speaking to the Bulletin yesterday afternoon Ms Mcivor was preparing for another downpour, sandbagging her house and shed.

"We will be going to help the neighbours too because some of them have lower houses than ours," she said.

"We are expecting another 200mm and one man down the road is already pumping water out of his place."

Hammond Way was closed yesterday afternoon due to the extensive flooding.



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