Heather Hamilton-Maude is a Scenic, SD, rancher and was among those impacted by winter storm Atlas that ravaged western South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming the weekend of Oct. 4. The system dumped 2 in. of rain on Thursday, before switching to snow and dumping 19 in. of snow on Friday alone. Total accumulations for the area were near or over 23 in. of snow on top of the rain, with reported wind gusts in the upper 80-mph range.
Due to the accumulation of heavy, wet snow and wind, Maude says it took her family two days to travel the 25 miles from their house to the pasture where their cattle are located. Here are some scenes of the heartbreaking aftereffects.
Please note there are some graphic photos that detail the gruesome scenes found by many ranchers when they were able to get to their herds. Our hearts go out to all of those impacted. Read Maude's personal story recapping the devastation and how their community is banding together here.
More Winter Storm Atlas Information:
5 Resources For South Dakota Ranchers Hit By October Blizzard
Cattle Death Toll Rises As 'Atlas' Blizzard Recovery Continues
Producers Should Document Livestock Losses