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Storm worse than expected

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S CO rancher

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The latest from today's Rocky Mountain News

This is just Colorado, the storm also hit Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma Panhandle and the Texas Panhandle. Wish we could do something in this situation besides pray.



State, ranchers fear record loss of cattle
Toll from snowstorms expected to rattle beef industry in Colorado
Ahmad Terry © News


By Deborah Frazier and David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
January 3, 2007

LA JUNTA - Livestock losses from twin winter storms are expected to set a new record for Colorado and rattle the state's beef industry.
Don Ament, director of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said Tuesday that farmers and ranchers in the area were having a difficult time finding all of their animals.

"We've got upward of 340,000 cattle out there," he said. "But with the snow, we can't even tell where those animals are."

A blizzard in 1997 killed about 30,000 cattle and set the livestock loss record at $28 million.

Colorado had an estimated 2.65 million head of cattle last January, including both beef and dairy animals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistics service.

"Farmers and ranchers can't even get out of their homes to get to the cattle because miles and miles of county roads are impassible," Ament said.

More than 40 inches of snow covers Steve Wooten's ranch near Kim, 200 miles southeast of Denver. Wooten, 50, comes from four generations of ranching and said this is the worst storm he has seen.

"The 1997 one is the only one that comes to mind, but this one looks hard," he said. "I think we're going to wear this snow for a lot longer than that one."

Wooten said he has 320 head of cattle out in the snow and spent Tuesday trying to coax some calves across a flat area to bales of hay. But he said the snow came up to their bellies and they reluctantly turned back, unwilling to make the sojourn toward the barn.

Five National Guard helicopters ferried 400 bales of hay to drop-off sites in southeastern Colorado. Chinook and C-130 helicopters will join the efforts Wednesday.

Sno-Cats, snowmobiles and heavy equipment, some driven by volunteers, took the bales to stranded livestock.

"What worries me is we can't even see where those animals all are," Ament said. "In 1997, hundreds of cattle were buried in irrigation ditches and ravines."

While most major highways had opened, hundreds of miles of county roads remained closed, with drifts as deep as 12 feet isolating homes, towns and livestock.

"All the equipment we are used to being able to borrow is being used to dig out the Denver metro area," he said.

He said that Pueblo and Denver International Airport had sent several plows.

As aircraft searched for cattle herds and dropped hay, new evidence of the storm's destruction was found, said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma.

Campo High School's cafeteria roof collapsed and five buildings in Walsh, including the volunteer fire department, crumpled under the snow's weight, he said.

"Not only do we have the immediate rescue efforts under way, but we have to plan a recovery strategy for communities reeling from this one-two punch," Gardner said.

Ament said a feedlot on U.S. 50 near La Junta lost 1,000 cattle.

At the grain elevator in Springfield, Sheila Moffett said that her husband and son were loading hay on a Black Hawk helicopter for their cattle.

"The herd hasn't eaten since Thursday, and that's a long time for them to go without food and water," she said. "You hear horror stories about how they bunch up in a corner and get buried."

Cade Doyle, who operates the La Junta Milling and Elevator Co., said the hay drops are vital for the cattle to survive. Doyle said most cattle could go a week without hay.

"They're pretty hardy," he said. "They'll forage for shrubs sticking out of the snow or even eat cactus. You just don't want them to have to go too long like that."

Polly White, of the Colorado Division of Emergency Management, said six trucks of food from Affiliated Foods in Texas were heading toward towns with empty grocery shelves and edgy residents.

On Wednesday, eight Sno-Cats from the Colorado Division of Wildlife will reach a staging area in Lamar where 120 National Guardsmen are based, waiting for more hay supplies.

Clarence Bulkley ranches northwest of Pritchett. He said he can see part of his herd from his home, but his front-end loader was stuck in the snow.

"I've never seen a storm as bad," said Bulkley, 53. "We knew before the storm quit we were in trouble."

Struggle with storm's aftermath

340,000 Estimated number of cattle threatened by snowstorm.

6,000 Homes in Colorado and Oklahoma left without power by the storm. Power outages also struck at least 6,300 homes and businesses in western Kansas and an estimated 15,000 in Nebraska.

400 Bales of hay dropped Tuesday.

5 Number of helicopters ferrying hay to drop-off sites.Sources: Colorado Department Of Agriculture, The Associated Press.
 

Tap

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I don't know that we have ever had 40 inches of snow at one time before. :shock: Believe it or not, but I am sure that we have a pretty high fire danger here today. 55 degrees, breezy, and not a speck of snow anywhere here.
 

Faster horses

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Thanks for taking the time to post that information.

Clarence Buckley is an old friend of ours. In fact, on the
thread where we talked about having fun, he is the fellow I
mentioned that had one wooden leg and could do everything
but ice skate and irrigate.

He lost that leg to cancer when he was very young.

This is tough, very tough. I can't imagine that much snow all
at once.

They need our prayers, that's for sure.
 

Jassy

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>THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT.>

>Denver Post:>

>This text is from a county emergency manager out in the central part

>of Colorado after todays snowstorm.

>WEATHER BULLETIN

>Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event---

>may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a

>historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that

>broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded

>hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated

>scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

>FYI:

>George Bush did not come.

>FEMA did nothing.

>No one howled for the government.

>No one blamed the government.

>No one even uttered an expletive on TV

>Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

>Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

>Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

>CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit

>- or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit

>cards.

>No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

>No one looted.

>Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

>Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

>No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo

>Rivera.

>No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

>Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

>Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

>The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a

>penny.

>Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered

>it to the snowbound families.

>Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

>We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

>We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

>We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a

>mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes

>for 'sittin at home' checks.

>Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this

>early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

>"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48

>degrees North

>Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate."

>It does seem that way, at least to me.

>I hope this gets passed on.


>Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a

>living.
 

Stretch

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I love that one Jassy it really hits the spot..... I am so tired of "POOR ME" from the people that are to lazy to help themselve's. These ranchers are in the middle of a mess that I can't begin to imagine and what are they doing about it? They are solving problems one at a time and moving on, not complaining or feeling sorry for themselves. My hat's off to them, they have to be completely overwhelmed and exhausted but refuse to sit back and wait for help. Why? some might ask... simple they are tough and are used to doing what it takes to get what needs done... DONE.. I hope that everyone takes care.
 

sw

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Now Jassy,
don't you know that this whole storm and all of the consequences were caused by GW not signing the Kyoto Agreement and because I burnt a bunch of plastic twine the other day. I did also notice that there were no riots in the streets of Denver, or anywhere that the storm hit. People here in the west are of a different gene pool, we don't cry and whine cause nobody is helping us, we are more concerned about people we can help. Read Passin thru's post, people are asking about him and all he cares about is those others worse off than himself. Go figure us mean ole Republicans are at it again. If any of you in Colorado that have power to run your computer, if you need help, let us know, we will try. I was just reminded today about helping Manitoba rancher in a time of need, you people are the salt of the earth, I will help you anyway I possibly can. I was put on this earth for a reason, this maybe it.
 

Work Hard and Study Hard

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sw said:
Now Jassy,
don't you know that this whole storm and all of the consequences were caused by GW not signing the Kyoto Agreement and because I burnt a bunch of plastic twine the other day. I did also notice that there were no riots in the streets of Denver, or anywhere that the storm hit. People here in the west are of a different gene pool, we don't cry and whine cause nobody is helping us, we are more concerned about people we can help. Read Passin thru's post, people are asking about him and all he cares about is those others worse off than himself. Go figure us mean ole Republicans are at it again. If any of you in Colorado that have power to run your computer, if you need help, let us know, we will try. I was just reminded today about helping Manitoba rancher in a time of need, you people are the salt of the earth, I will help you anyway I possibly can. I was put on this earth for a reason, this maybe it.

You need to watch An Inconvienvent Truth, global warming is not a hoax, it is real and it is impacting our weather now. Huge snowstorms, tsunamis, hurricanes etc. Since when did voting Republican cause people to ignore science and want to screw over mother nature? I don't understand this mentality when most ranchers I know including myself practice good stewardship of the land already. Get the answers for yourself, Rush Limbaugh doesn't care if climate patterns change thus prolonging drought. It really frusterates me that people don't take Global Warming more seriously.
 

Jassy

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I had that post emailed to me today...and I too thought "how true"...that most of us "out west" know how to take care of ourselves, and help out others...we're not looking to blame anyone when Mother Nature throws a huge ass snowball! :wink:
 

Shortgrass

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That storm was for real down in the far SE corner of CO. We got about an inch of snow and 2 feet of wind up here (50 miles from where it begins to get rough). I feel real blessed at home. My calves at the feed lot (80 miles SE of home) took a pretty good hit. Lost one, and one is real sick- have my doubts. They were shrunk up pretty bad and looked rough, but our losses will be far sort of devastating, as will be the case for many of our brothers in the hard hit areas. Pray for em, help in any other way ya can.
 

Soapweed

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Work Hard and Study Hard said:
You need to watch An Inconvienvent Truth, global warming is not a hoax, it is real and it is impacting our weather now. Huge snowstorms, tsunamis, hurricanes etc. Since when did voting Republican cause people to ignore science and want to screw over mother nature? I don't understand this mentality when most ranchers I know including myself practice good stewardship of the land already. Get the answers for yourself, Rush Limbaugh doesn't care if climate patterns change thus prolonging drought. It really frusterates me that people don't take Global Warming more seriously.

You work too hard and study too hard. Kick up your heels and have some fun--tomorrow might never come. Instead of worrying yourself sick over Global Warming (if there is such a thing), enjoy it for what it is. It beats the heck out of bitter cold sub-zero temperatures.
 

Faster horses

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WH/SH, you need to look into the UNTRUTHS behind that movie.
It was not based on fact.
I heard on XM radio the whole discussion about the myths in that
movie.

I'll tell ya what. I will do my best to find the information for you.
Just give me a day or so.

Al Gore has an AGENDA. And this movie is part of that agenda.
How would you like to go back to the days before combustible
engines? That's just how far out in left field Al Gore is.

Oh, but he invented the internet. I forgot. He's your hero.
YUK!!!!!!
 

EastTexasGal

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Jassy I am glad to see you and Soapweed post, was starting to wonder how far this storm got. I was worried when I didnt see a post from you earlier. All we get is the states, not much of where it really hit. I am still praying that the others out that way are doing okay. Not alot we can do for them down here but bow our heads and pray.

And, dont yall be clumping all of us southerners in your POOR ME Scenerio :wink: . I will keep my mouth shut on the ones that were doing all the poor me crap. We had to suck it up last year the same way, got our chain saws and started here and worked to ever spot we could get to till we made sure everyone could get out. And, no it was not snow..but think every area of this Continent has its natural disasters unfortunately. Ours happens to usually include Water and Wind.

Still Glad I live in the SOUTH!! Jassy...lol...see I am seeing more and more why I stayed here.

Luv ya gal,
Easty
 

Stretch

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Talked to a friend last evening that lives north of Kearney Neb and he was telling me that he had 1 1/2- 2 inches of ice on everything. THe ground was so slick that it was terrible hard to walk. The electric fence was so thick and heavy that he had to go along and knock the ice off with a hammer to get it to come back up. The cattle are out in cornstalks and the ice was so thick that they really couldn't get much to eat. He has been feeding them ground hay and such to tide them over. He is lucky he has a small generator and so he is able to keep warm and pump water and such. He has chains for his tractor and so he is able to get around realatively good. His dad works for the county out there and the ice is so thick that he can't even chisel it off with a motorgrader. They are hoping for 50's and sunny to relieve some of the problems. He is on the tail end of the power line that feeds his place and so he expects it will take a week or ten days to get power restored. He said the power crews are really working hard and they figure they can put in 200 poles per day. He said everyone is really pulling together to get by and when I asked if there was anything that I could do he said " No we are really doing fine for now, we have heat and water and everyone is accounted for and so for now we really don't need much. But thanks for calling it helps to know that everyone it thinking of us." I know if they just had power back they could deal with the ice and such. He also said they were really lucky they didn't get all the snow the people to the south and west of them did as the cows are much better off without that. Funny how even in the middle of a terrble situation he was thankful of what didn't happen to him and was concerned about others. Everyone take care and if you know someone who is in one of these areas take a minute to try and call them and check up on them if you haven't already. I know first hand how a phone call that took me a whole sum of 10 minutes really meant a lot to someone else.
 

Jason

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Someone mentioned there was no looting in Denver.

The wisearse in me thinks that's because it's tough to loot a store if you have to shovel out 44" of snow before you can get to the front door. :p

I hope the gov't does what it can to help, but the folks there are tough stock for sure.

Hang in there.
 

Jassy

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This was sent to me email...It's a link to some pictures of the icestorm down around Kearney and Grand Island...It's amazing to see ice just wrap itself around anything and everything.

http://www.extremeinstability.com/06-12-31.htm

Oh Easty...I wuldn't want to live where you do either...when you get floods..them alligators come up your doorsteps...! I'll take my chances with the snow!
 

EastTexasGal

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LMAO....Jassy no gators here or that I can see anyways.. NUT...

We had a ice storm a ways back that was scarey enough...just think about a bunch of Texans trying to drive on that stuff? now that is scarey!! lmao

Luv ya...and glad you are okay.

Easty
 

Soapweed

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Jassy said:
This was sent to me email...It's a link to some pictures of the icestorm down around Kearney and Grand Island...It's amazing to see ice just wrap itself around anything and everything.

http://www.extremeinstability.com/06-12-31.htm

Oh Easty...I wuldn't want to live where you do either...when you get floods..them alligators come up your doorsteps...! I'll take my chances with the snow!

Thanks for posting those pictures, Jassy. It is really an eye-opener about the damages from the storm.
 

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