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Blizzard Evelyn Buries Upper Midwest Dairy Farms

The calendar says April, but Old Man Winter is still making his presence known nearly four weeks after the official start of spring. A literal perfect storm hit Wisconsin and Minnesota this past weekend, coming at a time when some farmers were usually starting to get into the fields. Blizzard Evelyn dumped as much as two feet of snow throughout the upper Midwest. 

Over the weekend, blizzard warnings stretched from southwestern Nebraska to Michigan, blanketing fields with inches of snow. The heavy snow and strong winds made roads nearly impossible to navigate. Drifting was significant as well. Normally snow drifts are relatively easy to manage, but with the wet, heavy nature of this snow made any drift dangerous if it sat on any building structure.  Strong wind and heavy snow closed major highways in parts of South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. Several dairies in Wisconsin will be repairing barn roofs as a result. 

The roof of a barn collapsed at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, near Kewaunee, Wis. east of Green Bay. According to the dairy’s Facebook post, no people or animals were injured in the collapse and they are thankful for the help of friends, neighbours and county officials who helped.

A five-foot drift built up on the roof of the milking parlor at Kinnard Farms, near Casco in northeast Wisconsin. With more snow in the forecast, a team of 12 men worked two hours in 30 mph winds to clear the roof.


A rooftop collapsed at Cedar Red Dairy Barn in Denmark. Four people had been working at the time of the collapse but safely escaped. Cows were also trapped inside, but were found uninjured after being rescued.

Reports show better weather for the middle of the week, with freezing rain and snow forecast for the weekend.

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