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Total livestock losses expected to be staggeringTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
A dead calf tangled in a SD fence line
Courtesy Photo­Image
Dozens of dead cattle piled against a bank in South Dakota.

An enormous snowstorm last weekend killed tens of thousands of cattle and ravaged the cattle industry in South Dakota and much of the Nebraska panhandle.

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As many as 75,000 cattle died in South Dakota, state and industry officials told NBC news. Losses were also heavy in Nebraska.

State Sen. Al Davis met with Nebraska officials Wednesday in Dawes and Sioux counties.

"Chadron alone has hauled over 1,300 loads of tree limbs to the city dump," Davis said, "but more concerning to me are the livestock losses....which I believe will be massive. One rancher lost 350 of his 400 cows -- conservatively a $500,000 loss but emotionally overwhelming and devastating."

"These people need prayer and they need help," Davis said.

The wet heavy snow was driven by gale-force northwest winds. Cattle piled up in pockets or drifted with the wind until they collapsed from exhaustion or became tangled in fences.

The storm has been named "Atlas" by the National Weather Service.

Many South Dakota and neighboring states ranchers lost unbelievable numbers of livestock. They are calling "Atlas" the storm of the century. Not only cattle but numerous horses were lost, according a facebook page "Atlas Blizzard Ranch Relief."

Across South Dakota, snow totals reached nearly five feet in some isolated areas, NBC reports.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality are working with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency to get a definitive number of cattle losses, Gov. Dave Heinemanís spokeswoman Jen Rae Wang said Tuesday.

The Department of Agriculture asks Nebraska producers who suffered livestock losses to keep detailed records of those losses, as they begin to assess the damage from the weekend.


Photos courtesy of http://bigballsincowtown.com/storm2013.htm


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/10/2013
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