This week, winter storms blasted the Kansas plains with snow, shutting down towns, roads, and agricultural operations, and covering some parts of the state with as much as 11 inches.
Meatpacking facilities in Kansas announced suspended shifts after a snowstorm caused power outages at Cargill in Dodge City. Fifty of the plant’s employees sheltered in place after Monday’s storms while others got stuck on the roadways, with the company indicating that they were working with local responders and hiring tow truck drivers to assist them.
“Our primary focus is to ensure the safety of our employees and support them during this extreme weather event,” Cargill noted in a statement. “While the majority of our 2,850 team members made it home yesterday, we had a group of 50, along with local leadership, remain at the plant due to the road closure.”
Tyson Foods also announced that the company canceled shifts Tuesday at its plant in Holcomb following the blizzard.
“Due to the blizzard, which caused dangerous travel conditions, team members at our Holcomb, Kansas, facility were given the option of sheltering in place at the plant Monday night, where they were provided a hot meal and hot beverages,” Tyson told local media. “Team members were able to leave the facility by Tuesday morning (Jan.9), and both A shift and B shift[s] for Tuesday have been canceled.”
While some sheltered in place, others ventured into the snow to feed livestock and help others out with the white mess.
@ryanloflinhemppioneer get ready, #kansas blizzard coming tonight. Goodluck #cattlemen @KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO ♬ original sound – RyanLoflinHempPioneer
Ranchers such as Heath Shields found that along the way, there were stranded vehicles that needed help getting out of the snow.
Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Anthony Calderon found himself stuck north of Garden City, and KSNW reported that a local rancher helped him get out.
Kansas farmer Andrew Weisman also volunteered time and farm equipment to dig out the snow around ambulance crews and those making food deliveries.
Another storm starting tomorrow in the Texas Panhandle has more fragmented sections of snow, with the main burst of precipitation going through Nebraska and maybe northern Kansas, where models are currently forecasting another 3 to 6 inches.