Now that the government is up and running, many ranchers in western South Dakota are anxious to see if they will receive any federal aid to help recover from the devastating blizzard earlier this month.
The record October blizzard knocked out power to more than $30,000 people and killed thousands of cattle.
Many ranchers are just beginning to clean up the devastation in their pastures.
To help with clean up, Pennington County has opened to pits where farmers can dispose of the remains free of charge. The goal is to save ranchers who have already lost thousands the additional cost of trying to clean up.
"You're looking at 100,000 to 150,000 dollars just laying in the fence line," said rancher Andrea Oldert near New Underwood.
"[I lost] about 90 cows and probably 30 calves… it would be in the neighbor hood of 150 to $170,000 dollars," said Scott Shoun, a rancher near New Underwood.
On top of those daunting numbers, many ranchers are also dealing with the additional expense of cleaning up.
"We are renting the backhoe I think he said its $225 a day… I don't know how long it's going to take to clean this up," said Oldert.
Some ranchers are paying to have the remains picked up and hauled away. Others are still struggling to find all of their lost cattle.
"Ended up finding dead ones all the way along for about 6 miles," said Shoun.
‘Some of them you can't find, some of them are just gone," said Oldert.
One of the biggest challenges for farmers right now is just trying to get to some of the cattle that are still left out in the field. All of that melted snow and the last couple days of rain have made a muddy mess over most of the area.
"You had to wait for the snow to melt before you could get anywhere….and then to add insult you injury we got another almost an inch the next Monday and then the next couple days we got even more rain," said Oldert.
It's also making it difficult for ranchers to care for the cattle that did survive the storm.
"It's difficult to get feed out to them and the calves don't have a dry place to lay down," said Shoun.
Despite all they're facing, these ranchers say giving up just isn't an option.
"Like most ranchers you pull up your boots and you trudge onto the next year," said Oldert.
"You just got to go on, you've got to pick up the pieces of the puzzle and hope they all fit," said Shoun.
Ranchers near New Underwood say it could be quite a while before all of the remains are disposed.
In the meantime, those ranchers who had insurance are still waiting to see if they will receive any kind of reimbursement.
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