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December 30, 2020 6:31 am  #1

The blizzard of '49

This is a terrific video to see, if you're a fan of history, weather and survival (mostly).  I was so fascinated by it that I watched it through twice because sometimes I would miss a section here and there while doing something else, although I could hear the people talking most of the time (it's not far from my 'puter to my kitchen! 

If you didn't grow up in WY, SD, NE or CO this probably won't interest you as much, although it should because it is a stark reminder of what some people went through when winter storm Atlas tore through here in 2013.  Luckily with that storm, however, the temps did not drop to sub-zero temps because the storm was early enough in the year (Oct 3, 2013).  My youngest granddaughter (at that time) was exactly 1 year old which is how we (in our family) remember the date so well. 

With that storm, the animals suffered far more than the people and lots of ranchers in this area of the state lost whole herds of cattle and sheep.  We don't have many sheep farmers in SD but in WY they do especially right across the border into WY from SD around Upton and Aladdin and Sundance. 

Even with modern communications, people were really not ready for that storm to be as severe as it ended up becoming because of the wind.  My God, the wind just tore, non-stop, through the entire western side of SD for 3 days without stopping.  Even here in town, it took down trees (our yard lost 4 good trees to the storm and 1 huge old maple tree (it was a beauty, too) because the idiots from the local electric company wrecked that tree while they were re-stringing wires and cables (and not doing this carefully either) all over the hardest-hit residential areas, and decided to use our CEDAR SIDED HOUSE rather than the house next door to us where the wires HAD originally been strung, as one of the main structures to hold the wires in place so they could string them across to the other side of the street where there is an electric pole.  You'd think it was their first day on the job as stupid as they were.  We tried reasoning with them but it was no use. And, of course, our neighbors were happy to see this happen because then THEY didn't have to worry about those wires anymore. 

Nevertheless, if you're a fan of winter like we are (the good parts like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc) you'll like watching this historical snow event from 1949.  At that time I wasn't even born, and my twin brothers were only 8 (1941), my oldest sister was only 6 (1943) and my other sister was only 4 (1945).  My Dad was a rancher but we didn't lose any cattle because he and my grampa piled bales of hay along the side of the fence near the barn where they kept the "overflow" cattle and horses that didn't fit into the barn.  Some cattle had to be left out on the open range but managed to survive by burrowing into snowbanks within the shelter-belt of trees bordering the farmyard, so my Dad and gramps were able to get feed and water to them.  I remember hearing that story often as a youngster during the late 1950's.  It was talked about for 2 decades in that area of the country because of the wrath it spread in its wake.

Happy viewing.

*** IMPHHO, it's too bad something like this storm doesn't happen in the WADC area and cripple it for a few days.
Maybe some of our gubmint officials would see life a bit more realistically than just dollar signs in their eyes.  Even with today's modern equipment I'll bet it would be difficult to clear streets if the winds were howling 30-50 mph and the snow was the same grainy, heavy, wet and ice-packed as it was in '49.  When the wind is blowing like that, you can move snow, all right, but by the time you've gone 1 block, it's all filled back in again.  It might be a damned good lesson for some of those jerks to learn.  I wouldn't feel a damned bit sorry for any of them, either.

A government which robs Peter to
pay Paul can always depend on
the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw

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