100,000 Cows Freeze to Death in Snowstorm – 10/14/2013

  • January 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm #2095

    100,000 Cows Freeze to Death in Freak Record-Breaking Snowstorm
    by Susan BirdOctober 14, 2013 5:30 pm

    Tens of thousands of cattle perished in a freak nowstorm during the first weekend in October in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. That’s incredible, and yet the story is getting surprisingly little attention.

    An unexpectedly early and brutal blizzard struck states from the Northern High
    Plains to the Rocky Mountains on October 4th and 5th, leaving up to five feet of
    snow on the ground. The storm’s howling winds proved to be a death knell for an
    estimated 75,000 to 100,000 defenseless cattle.

    First the poor creatures were pelted with rain, 12 hours of it, until their
    coats were waterlogged. Then came 48 hours of snow, 60 to 70 mph winds and
    freezing temperatures. Cattle wandered, cold, wet, covered with ice and
    confused. They huddled together at fence lines for warmth. Snow drifted to
    heights of 10 feet or more. Eventually, the cattle dropped where they stood, by
    the thousands, and the snow buried them.

    In the aftermath, bodies were everywhere. Black hooves and legs stuck up out of
    the snow, grotesquely marking the spots where cows and calves finally collapsed
    and froze to death.

    “They’re in the fence line, laying alongside the roads,” Martha Wierzbicki,
    emergency management director for Butte County, S.D., told the Billings Gazette.

    “It’s really sickening.”

    The unfortunate cows were ill-equipped to face this sudden snow because they
    hadn’t grown their winter coats yet. Compounding the problem, the weather’s been
    good recently, so ranchers hadn’t yet moved the cattle to their wintertime
    grazing locations which tend to have more gullies and trees. The cows were still
    in their open, flat summer pastures at this time of year, which is normally as
    it should be.

    Heavy, sustained blizzards during the first week of October just don’t happen in
    South Dakota and Wyoming. Only days earlier, temperatures had been in the 80s.
    The odd weather, dubbed “Winter Storm Atlas,” caught ranchers flatfooted.

    It’s not that they didn’t want to take care of their cattle. They did — those
    animals are their livelihood, after all. This storm was a record-breaker,
    however. It defied weather predictions and hit with unexpected force and
    longevity. Ranchers simply didn’t have time to move their cattle to more
    protected areas.

    “It’s bad. It’s really bad. I’m the eternal optimist and this is really bad,”
    60-year-old rancher Gary Cammack told the Associated Press. “The livestock loss
    is just catastrophic…. It’s pretty unbelievable. It’s the worst early season
    snowstorm I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

    “It’s not uncommon at this point to find cattle that are five miles from where
    they should be,” rancher David Uhrig told the Billings Gazette. “Which doesn’t
    seem like a lot, but to drift five miles in a storm — that’s a lot.”

    The devastation affects approximately 6,000 ranching operations. Some ranchers
    have yet to find any of their cattle alive, according to reports. Experts are
    calling it South Dakota’s worst economic crisis in decades. Sadly, many of these
    cows had just been brought to this area from Texas to escape drought conditions

    With the federal government in shutdown mode, the problem is made infinitely
    worse. The employees of federal agencies which the affected ranchers would turn
    to for information and advice are furloughed. They want to help but they can’t.

    It’s worth noting that some federal workers were allowed to do their jobs during
    this epic snowstorm, and did so admirably. When roads became impassible,
    dedicated employees of the National Weather Service in Rapid City, S.D.,
    actually hiked to work in the blizzard. They remained at their office around the
    clock for the entire weekend in order to get lifesaving weather information out
    to the public. Of course, they weren’t being paid at the time and still aren’t.
    In the absence of federal government help in this crisis, all the ranchers can
    do for the moment is sort out whose cattle are whose and get the carcasses
    disposed of before they rot where they lie.

    Some wonder whether the arrival of a storm this catastrophic so early in the
    season is yet another red flag waving frantically to alert us that climate
    change is real and is happening all around us. For example, ClimateCentral.com
    indicates in a response to a comment about this snowstorm, “[U]nusually heavy
    snowstorms like this one, which broke all-time records, are not inconsistent
    with what we’re already seeing due to manmade global warming—increased extreme
    precip events.”

    This bizarre weather incident may simply be an aberration. Odd things happen,
    after all. On the other hand, last year at this time, South Dakota was worried
    about drought conditions.

    Could Winter Storm Atlas be yet another symptom of the inexorable advance of
    climate change? Is wacky, unpredictable killer weather becoming more and more
    common, or are we just noticing it more these days?

    (How about HAARP / chemtrail weather modification? – MC)

    Source: http://www.care2.com/causes/100000-cows-freeze-to-death-in-freak-record-breaking-snowstorm.html

The forum ‘Strange Animal Deaths’ is closed to new topics and replies.