I had something else planned to write about today, but I am going to be taking two horses to the vet this morning, so that limits my time. One is Gump’s little brother, Dino. He’ll be getting castrated. The other is a client horse that has something wrong with him. He’s a bleeder, for one (we’ll get into an in-depth discussion on that later) but he’s very thin, doesn’t have a big appetite and seems lethargic. He worries when the girl goes to make barrel racing runs on him, and has started ducking off the first barrel and running out the alley. Part of that is becuase they haven’t addressed the bleeding in his lungs, and part of it is her ability to ride him, part of it is his training and part of it is stress. I think he possibly has ulcers. It’s going to be an interesting day at the clinic, no dobut. The owner is meeting me so she’ll get to learn some wonderful things.
As for home- we had a calf born in the blizzard on Sunday. Which was surprising because we aren’t supposed to calve until April. We did buy some new cows though, and were told they’d been ultra-sounded, (yes, you can ultrasound a cow) for an April 15 calving date. So either the guy lied when he sold them, this cow got missed, or the ultra-sounder sucks. It wasn’t a premature calf- he was a healthy 90-95lbs. So he comes into the world, in the middle of a snow storm with no electricity. Zach wrapped him up and put him in a blanket and left him in the cab of the pickup to get warm. He then spent the night in Bud’s garage, and is on a bottle now. Zach hopes that today he can get him back with his mama and keep them close to home, once the situation improves.
Which leads me to the update part of this. There is still no power, and now there’s no water. I’ll let the news story update you- but we’ve had to kick all the animals that we were keeping up in a wind-break pen, out so that they can water on our artesian line. Those that don’t have artesian water, are probably having to water their cattle in dams or tanks, by chopping ice daily. We’re very fortunate to have those artesian lines.
From The Sioux Falls, Argus Leader, yesterday:
Interstate 29 is closed from Sioux Falls to the North Dakota border due to whiteout conditions, the South Dakota Department of Transportation announced this afternoon.
Interstate 90 from Chamberlain to the Minnesota border also was closed Monday as gusting wind whipped falling snow through the air and shortened visibility to near zero.
“Visibility has been a real problem for travelers this afternoon,” Transportation Secretary Tom Dravland said.
Power was still out for 7,200 people in the state as electric crews worked though blizzard conditions to restore power to 10 different electric cooperatives.
The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation is without drinkable water after a clogged fuel filter caused a backup and filled the basement of the Tri-County Water Association’s water treatment plant with 20 feet of water.
The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management has gathered food and water to distribute to those in need, but low visibility has supplies trickling in.
“Because of the travel problems we’ve been having, we’re having trouble getting those resources to people,” said Emergency Management Director Kristi Turman.
There are 31 shelters open across the state for those without power, she said, and 270 people have been staying in them.
The winds that downed power lines and stranded motorists on the eastern side of the state will slow over the coming days, however. Winds will die down this evening and into tomorrow morning, said Greg Harmon of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.
Temperatures will drop again when a surge of arctic air rushes through Wednesday evening into Thursday, with overnight lows expected to fall to zero with wind chills at 20 below or lower.
At first Zach was told they’d be a week without water. But as of last night they thought they’d have it back up and running soon. I spent a good part of yesterday being frustrated by the lack of contingency plans; but Zach reminded me that there’s no way to plan for 6200 downed power poles. What say you power people? He also says that in a poor, rural area such as ours, that it’s not cost effective to have backup generators and such in place. The state of South Dakota called him yesterday to let him know that there are shelters available; he can’t leave though- someone has to stay and take care of livestock. They’re calling all the residents- which is pretty cool.
The boys got back late Sunday evening, and missed watching the Vikings game, to buy generators for 6 households (Uncle Leo and their sister, Lorelei). They hooked Bud’s house up in the early hours of Monday morning; Granny’s was done first thing yesterday- lest we lose all our home raised beef, then Guth’s house, and last night, at about 7:30 Zach got ’round to doing ours. It blizzarded yesterday too, which made things a bit more difficult and slowed down repair efforts. Otherwise everyone at home is doing good and I slept better last night, knowing that there was some semblance of normalcy back.
I’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress that they make with restoring things. I read yesterday that they are sending in another 600 people to help repair the downed lines. So awesome! I must give thanks and props to the lineman that are out there doing their best, freezing their tails off to save people lives.
We’ll talk about bleeders and about what happened at the vet clinic today later. In the meantime, y’all stay warm and have a super Tuesday!