Belle Fourche dug out, melts out - but challenges remain

2013-10-07T18:00:00Z 2013-10-07T23:44:27Z Belle Fourche dug out, melts out - but challenges remainMilo Dailey Butte County Post staff Rapid City Journal
October 07, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Sunday there were tales to tell as Belle Fourche and Butte County residents found meeting places to match stories of blizzarding, power outages, livestock losses and downed trees.

Belle Fourche city crews were out Sunday to beat the sun to removing huge windrows of snow from the Friday and Saturday blizzard as temperatures soared into the high 50s.

But some streets were left with unplowed lanes because of mounds of downed tree limbs that littered yards and roadways throughout the community.

Some electric power was still uncertain in town as well early Sunday afternoon. There were ongoing reports of intermittent and ongoing power outages.

Belle Fourche still dodged the brunt of the storm felt just 11 miles south in Spearfish as I-90 was reopened to the Wyoming border from Rapid City and points east.

Butte County Emergency Management Director Martha Wierzbicki said Sunday morning that she was getting reports of dead livestock along highways in the county. Both sheep and cattle were reported along the roadways, she said.

She added that in some areas of the county she had reports of 12-foot drifts.

Wierzbicki said motels had been filled over the weekend in Belle Fourche as it appeared most travelers took the heavy, wet snow and "no travel" warnings to heart.

A stranded charter bus on U.S. Highway 85 on Redwater Hill Friday night was apparently the only stranding reported in the county, but farmers, ranchers and other rural residents found two feet or more of heavy wet snow blocking their way to cleared roads.

At Alzada, Mont., about 40 miles west of Belle Fourche on U.S. Highway 212, Chris Maupin said Sunday, "Alzada and lots of this corner of Wyoming do not have electricity yet. My electricity is stable at the moment."

Maupin had announced Friday that the 25th annual Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art show would be cancelled.

She said she had reports that ranchers were opening fences to get cattle where they were out of the timber due to so many downed trees.

"I think the sheep ranchers probably have the greatest problems," she said.

Events in Belle Fourche over the weekend also were cancelled, including a First Saturday Brunch at the Tri-State Museum and the fire department's annual fall open house.

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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