Colorado Digs Out from Weekend Blizzard

A Bobcat forklift loads 1,500-pound bales of hay onto a military transport truck outside Lamar, Colo i i

A Bobcat forklift loads 1,500-pound bales of hay onto a military transport truck outside Lamar, Colo. Jeff Brady, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady, NPR
A Bobcat forklift loads 1,500-pound bales of hay onto a military transport truck outside Lamar, Colo

A Bobcat forklift loads 1,500-pound bales of hay onto a military transport truck outside Lamar, Colo.

Jeff Brady, NPR

The weekend blizzard that paralyzed the Plains states has claimed at least 12 lives and knocked out electricity to tens of thousands of people in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Drifts are as high as houses in some places. Military Humvees are slowly making their way to farm and ranch houses to check on residents, while snowmobiles are taking medical supplies to those who need them.

Meanwhile, livestock are stranded in snow-covered fields without food and water. Some ranchers haven't seen their livestock since last weekend. Without food soon, the animals will starve — assuming they haven't already frozen to death.

National Guard helicopters in Colorado have begun to drop hundreds of half-ton bales of hay, hoping to avoid a repeat of a blizzard 10 years ago that killed 30,000 animals.

Forecasters say showers are expected later this week, but the temperature is rising above freezing, which means rain instead of more snow.

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