UPDATE: See reports on the 2019 blizzard in Colorado. The following story is from 2017.

SPRINGFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Ranchers are dealing with a big problem from this past weekend’s blizzard in southeastern Colorado. The snowstorm killed thousands of cattle.

“They’ll actually drown in the snow. The snow will get up in their lungs,” said Prowers County rancher Justin Willhite, who lost a third of his cattle.

Seven foot high snow drifts buried cows and toppled acres of wheat crops in Prowers County and Baca County near the Kansas and Oklahoma borders, costing farmers millions of dollars.

There are no confirmed numbers yet, but it’s estimated as many as 10,000 cattle were killed in the rare spring storm.

(credit: Austin Schroder)

After the storm dumped 30 inches of snow in some areas, the damage is compared to the blizzard of 2007, which was one of the worst snowstorms in state history.

“All those small communities, they depend on the farmers and ranchers to support their communities, to support jobs in their communities, so the effects could be really dire,” said Colorado Farm Bureau spokesman Chad Vorthmann.

(credit: Colorado Farm Bureau)

The Colorado Farm Bureau has activated its disaster relief fund and they are seeking donations on a special PayPal website.

Ranchers are sharing their brands on Facebook in hopes of finding surviving cattle.

Comments (20)
  1. Patricia Asling says:

    Now THIS is a REAL emergency!!!

  2. Cindy Tews says:

    I’m deeply saddened by the loss. My heart goes out to all of those that must struggle through this! Look at the death and destruction. Do you realize those dead cattle were part or all of their livelihood? What will they be forced to do or sell to make ends meet? A part of their ranch? Forego that kid going to college? Many sacrifices come from working the land. How it must feel to see the animals that you cared for dead and feel like you failed them? Please have some compassion for your fellow men and women.

  3. bighorn100 says:

    I just wish people would stop using this catastrophe to spout their particular brand of political hate from both sides or their total ignorance of western ranching and show some compassion for the real people and animals affected.

  4. http://www.end-times-prophecy.org/animal-deaths-birds-fish-end-times.html?

    Zephaniah 1 (KJV)
    2 I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord.

    3 I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.?

    Hosea 4 (KJV)
    4 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

    2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

    3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.? Our Heavenly Fathers will,will be done naturally,manmade,or unexplained. Although animals and fish have been dying all throughout history, we have not seen the massive consistant numbers that we are seeing today Hmm, most of the time it is just one spiecies. Please remember! This is just one of the MANY signs of the last days.

  5. Welcome to the new Little Ice Age..

  6. Vox Veritas says:

    Not possible.

    The Obamessiah said he healed the planet.

  7. Global warming causes global cooling.

  8. Ryan J Brown says:

    Well, beef is off the table this year. Time to look at chicken and pork. Why don’t we use goats? Much easier to raise.

    1. Laura McGee says:

      Goats look for more ways to die than cattle.

  9. Merin Lukose says:

    Global warming climate should be blamed for this. Call Al Gore and Obama for help spreading the news

  10. John Oakman says:

    Fake News—this was really a heat wave disguised as a snow storm.

  11. Will this frozen meat be utilized? Animal Sanctuaries?

    1. I wonder, too. If a rancher suddenly has a hundred dead cows is there a way to process that many before they warm?

  12. Were not the ranchers aware of a coming storm? That is what the Weather Channel is for.

    1. Sparky Mills says:

      I suppose that when you get your beef out of a shrink-wrapped, grocery store package – comprehending rangeland cattle-management may be too much for you.

    2. Jeri Lynn Soulier says:

      There is no where to “take” range cattle in the event of a horrible deep storm or flooding – they live in the open, on the range, and usually fare quite well. What a devastating and heart-breaking loss to the owners of these cattle.

  13. Dave Rankine says:

    Was Al Gore in the area?

  14. Why is this blizzard any different from the normal winter blizzards that occur in Colorado?

    1. A warm winter and early spring has plants thinking winter was over, along comes a late season blizzard, crops die. Welcome to Americas first major crop devastation. BTW Europe has had even more crop losses than America and rarely seen in print or tv. As a side note look for prices to rise in supermarkets in two to three weeks.

  15. GD global warming at it again.

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