Food drops for US storm victims
National Guard helicopters have been dropping food and hay bales in
central parts of the US for people and cattle stranded by a major
The blizzard, which began on Friday, brought up to 35 inches (90cm)
of snow to parts of the region. At least 12 deaths have been blamed on
the weather, and farmers fear the heavy snow could kill thousands of
The states of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma have all been
badly affected. It is the second blizzard to hit the region in as many
weeks. The National Weather Centre said better conditions were expected
for later this week in all areas affected.
The snowstorm has left thousands of people without electricity, while
telecommunications have also been affected.
The largest amount of snow fell in areas of western Kansas and
eastern Colorado, and high winds caused drifts of up to 15 feet (5m).
National Guardsmen used snowmobiles to reach people trapped in their
homes, while helicopters dropped military rations outside some houses.
Pilots have been using heat-seeking equipment to locate cattle and
began dropping hay to remote herds on Tuesday.
Colorado's agriculture director, Don Ament, warned that some cattle
had already gone several days without food and water.
"They're just going to lay over dead if we don't do something soon,"
he said. Terry Fankhauser of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association said
some cattle had died, but preparations before the storm might have
"The final tally of any impact related to livestock death will be
later in the week as snow starts to melt off," he said.
The storm caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights from
Denver's main airport over the weekend and Interstate 25 - the main road
through Colorado state - was closed.
A few roads remained blocked on Tuesday although work was continuing
to clear the snow. Twelve people were killed by the storm - mostly as a
result of traffic accidents caused by the hazardous.