It’s being called one of the worst blizzards in South Dakota’s history. Here at the ranch we received 24 inches of very wet snow, Rapid City, SD got 31 inches and Lead/Deadwood, SD a record 43.5 inches. Here in the northwest corner of the state and other Black Hills communities, the storm caused collapsed roofs, damage to crops and livestock, extended power outages, and damage from felled trees.
South of us in the heart of the storm, lost livestock, drifting with 60 mile per hour wind gusts and blinding snow, were driven with the storm, trailing over buried fence lines. Those that made it through the blizzard, are still lost or stranded. And reports of hundreds of head of livestock that didn’t make it, are being reported.
We are still without power and days away from getting it. There are reports of more than 1500 snapped power poles in our area alone. Fortunately after two days without power we now have a generator.
One of the endearing things about living in rural South Dakota is that in circumstances of extreme stress such as during natural disaster like winter storm Atlas, there are moving accounts of people going out of their way to help others. It’s interesting to me how feeling vulnerable breaks down the walls we put up to keep others from getting too close and leads to greater generosity and helpfulness.