When Onion Creek in South Austin burst over its banks Sunday morning, a great deal of damage was left its wake.
Perhaps no one knows that better than Matt O’Hayer, co-owner of Vital Farms, just south of Austin. O’Hayer’s flagship farm was flooded by the overnight rainfall.
"There is so much that is lost downstream,” he said. “We've lost a lot of the support infrastructure from the farms.”
Vital Farms raises chickens and sells eggs to grocers—including Whole Foods Markets—nationwide.
O'Hayer received a call from his farm manager overnight about the rapidly increasing water levels of Onion Creek.
The news quickly got worse.
"One of the other farm employees that lived by down by the creek in the fifth wheel trailer was still in the trailer when water was coming up through the floor," O’Hayer said.
Other farmers had to call Travis County first responders to rescue the employee in the trailer. He survived, but the damage was done.
"That truck there was completely underwater," O’Hayer said.
More than 600 chickens can typically be found roaming the land at Vital Farms. The land is now spotted with pieces of destroyed structures and equipment.
However, there was some good news.
"We were able to save everybody, human and animal-wise, so that's great news,” O’Hayer said. “Every single chicken survived."
Sergio Valedez used to work at O’Hayer’s farm. He said they’ve seen flooding before, but nothing like Sunday’s flood.
"Definitely not this bad,” he said. “At the most, we had ankle high- water. This time, as far as I've heard, it was waist-high water."
Owners are worried about the farm's future, but there's only one way to approach the problem.
"We'll figure it out,” O’Hayer said. “We always do."