On a site I visit, I noticed an urgent call for help for anyone who could help save cows and new born calves in Nebraska where a HUGE flood is on going. The article below was written on Wednesday and the person who posted for help did so on Thursday so the flooding and brutal continues.
With so much news focused on the ridiculousness going on in Washington, we can forget that other things of consequence are taking place in the rest of the nation, in the rest of the world.
Is this Nebraska flooding part of climate change? I have no idea, but it is historic.
"Meteorologists say the storm raging across the West and Midwest was caused by a sudden and severe drop in air pressure called a "bomb cyclone" or "bombogenesis."
Low air pressure is how meteorologists measure the strength of a storm, and it was the strongest in Colorado since at least 1950, the Associated Press reported. Dodge City, Kansas, reported the lowest air pressure in more than a century.
But fed by heavy rain, Dead Horse Creek roared to life overnight Tuesday, trapping the cow-calf pairs owned by father-son ranchers Ron and Cody Scherbarth.
Before bundling up to go help midday Wednesday, Cody’s girlfriend, Robin Ferguson, described the scene out the window.
Which wasn’t much, because they were deep in a whiteout. “I can barely see the shop, which is about 20 yards away.”
But beyond the shop was the creek, and beyond that, the calving pasture, with about 60 cows and their newborns now at risk in the weather. The creek isn’t usually a problem, but it was running so full and fast Tuesday the ranchers couldn’t even get across in their tractor, she said.
So they were planning to rescue the pairs by taking the long way. What should have been a quarter-mile trip was now a mile and a half of hills and draws and heavy snow and 40 mph winds that sting like shards of glass, she said.
Once the cows and calves were safe, the ranch work wouldn’t be done. They still needed to retrieve enough hay for food and bedding, and that would require multiple tractor trips back to the calving pasture.
Adding to the stress
It’s the peak of calving season in the Sandhills, and Adam Johnson expects more than 1,100 new calves to be born on his ranch just across the South Dakota state line north of Cody.
This storm, with rain, snow and high winds, is taking an already stressful period and ratcheting it up.
“This is what the old-timers call a ‘calf killer,’” Johnson said of the storm, which started as hours of cold rain before turning to snow late Wednesday morning.
“As a stock man, it’s the most stressful thing you can endure.”
Johnson and other ranchers in the Sandhills have worked to bring as many of the pregnant heifers as they can to the barn to calve. That’s been the easy part, he said.
But it’s the one- or two-week-old calves who follow their mothers out into the storm that are at the biggest risk.
“You get them tucked in in the best protection you can find,” he said, “bed them and hope they don’t drift away.”
Johnson said he’ll make patrols on horseback looking for lost cow-calf pairs that have wondered away into the blinding storm, pulling a sled behind to bring the calves back to safety.
It would be easier — and likely warmer — to do the work with a tractor, he added, but the risk of running over a cold calf buried underneath a snow drift is too high.
This year’s calving season has already taken a toll on cattle herds and ranchers alike, said Haley Bredthauer, a veterinarian in Wheeler County.
The combination of weeks of bitter cold, heavy snow and blustery winds have claimed more newborn calves than usual, Bredthauer said, while also taking a toll on adults in the herds."
Adding this link. My understanding is that what isn't flooded in Nebraska is under a blizzard-like conditions. Other Mid-West states are also having major issues.
Updating the flooding. Things are still underwater and more flooding is expected. I have been monitoring Cowboy 911 (which was created by volunteers to respond to disasters) and boy are there sure a lot of cows and horses stuck in chest high water with nowhere to go. No dry land to move to.
This article gives only a glimpse of what I have been reading.
And here is and article about the devastating impact the floods are having in farmers.