Ranchers worked by hand to shovel cattle free from 8-foot snowdrifts after a powerful blizzard hit South Dakota March 13 and 14.
“Walking 8-foot drifts and looking for your stock is tough, but it’s something my family chose to do,” said Dale J. Vocu whose family owns Three Mile Creek Rodeo Co. near Kyle, South Dakota.
She shared a video on Facebook of workers freeing stranded cattle with scoop shovels. She spoke to the Tri-State Neighbor via Facebook Messenger.
They were able to save six, including one of their bucking bulls named Night Dreams, another small bull and a few yearlings. She wasn’t sure how many head they lost.
“It was a tough one,” she said. “This blizzard took a hard toll on Three Mile Creek Ranch.”
Much of South Dakota is recovering from blizzards and flooding.
West River communities were hit with more than a foot of snow in some places. Kadoka recorded 18 inches. Wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph created drifts several feet deep, according to the National Weather Service.
In eastern South Dakota, rivers were expected to crest Friday or Saturday. Several counties in central and southeastern South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, southwestern Minnesota and northeastern Nebraska were under a hazardous weather outlook after heavy rains fell Wednesday, March 13.
Gov. Kritsi Noem opened the state Emergency Operations Center in Pierre to help coordinate response to blizzard and flood conditions. She plans to issue an emergency declaration for the storm, according to a statement March 14.