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Northwest Oklahoma residents find hope, humor in blizzard

More than a foot of snow was dumped Monday on residents. While most were stuck inside, a few got out and experienced the storm firsthand.
by Adam Kemp Published: March 3, 2013

After he put the chains around the calf's feet, Eric Shelton paused a second to listen to the 40 mph wind beating on the tiny shed he and the cow were in.

Shelton said the ferocity of the blizzard frightened the first-time mom, who had to be tied to a post to keep her from moving as the calf was pulled from her.

Blizzard or not, the work of a farmer goes on.

“I was wet and covered in snow,” he said. “Other than that, not much was different. We got the calf up and standing, got her mom to get some warm milk in her. They are both doing well.”

Shelton operates his family's farm in Butler, a small town about 20 miles northwest of Clinton, where they received nearly a foot of snow Monday from the blizzard that hit the northwest part of the state hard, causing power outages and closing roadways for days.

Shelton said his farm has lost more than half of its livestock in the past couple of years because the drought has killed large amounts of grass needed for feed.

A new calf and a large amount of moisture on the same day — Shelton said he couldn't ask for much more.

“It's definitely a win-win,” he said. “We hope it's just the start.”

The firefighter

Farther north in Woodward, Chad Parks and fellow firefighter Jason Hill had just finished responding to a house fire call that turned out to be nothing more than a clogged chimney.

While driving back to the station in the driving snow, the 24-foot fire truck hit a particularly deep drift. The tires spun but the rig went nowhere.

“We may have been in a big truck, but we were stuck,” Parks said. “We tried digging it out, but there was no way. Another truck came and tried to use a winch to get us out, but they ended up getting stuck, too.”

In addition to the two trucks, an ambulance and three other vehicles were trapped on the road.

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