80,000 Chicks Killed in Storm - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/5/04 - Hopkins County

80,000 Chicks Killed in Storm

It's a scene of carnage: 80,000 chicks, just one day old, now lie lifeless.

"It's sickening," Suzy Bain, co-owner of the Rickey and Suzy Bain Chicken Farm, now destroyed by the storm, said. "It's just sickening, is all we can say. We love where we live. We love it in the country. It's our life."

The bain family has been farming in the rural community of Pine Forest for more than 50 years. The dairy farm and the chicken farm cover about 500 acres. And hardly any of it was left untouched.

"We're trying to salvage what we can," Suzy said. "They claim it a total loss out here. It's wiped us out."

For the Bains, what's more heartbreaking than losing $1-million in property is the loss of life. There are the lucky ones, scattered among the ones that didn't make it. And soon to join the 80,000 already dead is one chick that won't be saved.

"We're trying to keep alive what we have," Suzy said. "We've got them in two houses right now that are operational. They're not structurally sound."

Aside from saving the newborn chicks still left, Suzy says she doesn't even know where to begin.

"We love the poultry business and we will rebuild," she said. "We're where we want to be, and this is what we want to do."

Emergency officials in Hopkins County say the damage leads them to believe a tornado touched down there. But the National Weather Service has not confirmed that yet.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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