The Rancher and I are alive and doing good.
If you have seen weather reports you know that the Western South Dakota Prairie and the Black Hills got hit by a blizzard. This has been referenced as the worst October storm western South Dakota has seen in recorded history.
Mid-last week the Weatherman was talking about the heart of the Black Hills getting a winter storm and 2-4″ of snow on the prairie. J had a feeling. Thursday morning we moved the cattle we have at home closer to the building site. The cattle on summer grass were moved to protective areas. Thursday night-Friday morning we got around .80″ of rain. At 8:30 Friday morning the rain switched to snow. We lost electricity 11:00 am on Friday.
When we woke up Saturday it was still snowing and the wind still howling. Late morn we lost our landline connection. Around 1:00 Saturday afternoon the storm was out of here. J and I headed out to take a look. It’s hard to say how much snow we got. We have snow drifts up to 10 feet deep and other places with grass or weeds poking through the snow. We think it’s around a foot of snow.
Saturday afternoon we took care of the cattle at home. J moved a little snow with the tractor and I shoveled a lot of snow.
Sunday J got the snowmobile started and checked cattle we have in a pasture south of our home place. Cousin T checked cattle we have on summer grass that boarders him. So far, we don’t think we have any major livestock loss.
Monday was the first day that we could get out. Our township road was completely blocked with snow. Between snow melting and neighbors needing to get out we got the road opened with tractors. J and I are headed to check more cattle today.
The Ranch has a big generator. We are able to water cattle, warm the house, cool the fridge and freezer, cook meals, shower and do a necessary load of laundry. We run it first thing in the morning, over the noon hour and in the evening. We are not lumping it, but will be glad when the electricity is restored. The local Electric Company is reporting 1,600-2,000 broken electrical poles and has brought in crews from other co-ops and the National Guard to assist.
The News is reporting on the damages and livestock loss in the western part of the State. We have heard that 5% of western South Dakota cattle have died. Producers have reported herd losses of 20-90%. It sounds like the hardest hit loss is around and south of Highway 212 and I-90. We have heard neighbors with losses of 20-30 head. Many are still looking for cattle that drifted.
The snow is melting fast with temps in the 50’s and they are calling for 60 today. The Weatherman is telling us rain is headed our way Thursday and Friday. Monday there is a chance for a “wintry mix” of moisture.
The Rancher and I are blessed that most of our cattle are safe and so are we. We are thankful for good neighbors and all the work that our local Electric Company is doing to restore power. I will post pictures when I can. I don’t have the capabilities to upload pictures from my camera to my netbook. I have not figured out how to do links on this little thing either. If you are interested in more reading about the blizzard look up KBHB Radio or The Rapid City Journal.
I will keep you posted on our situation and reply to comments as I can. Thank You for your thoughts, messages and prayers.