EL PASO COUNTY – People who hunkered down during Tuesday’s blizzard conditions on the plains in eastern El Paso County are now facing a big job in the storm’s aftermath. “When you have 60 mile an hour sustained winds for over 14 hours you’re going to end up with some pretty massive snow drifts,” said Rancher, Carrie Terroux-Barrett. The drifts at her ranch near Rush are a show and tell of an intense storm.
Even when dark clouds cleared, blizzard conditions continued. “It’d be a ground blizzard. The sun would come out. You’d walk outside look straight up and it was blue sky, but you couldn’t see anything below about ten feet,” said Rancher, Peter Barrett.
On a ranch there has to be an assessment of animals after the storm. Some are fine, others had close calls. “We walk out and thought oh my God the sheep are buried, buried alive in their house,” said Terroux-Barrett, “Fortunately the snow bank stopped just before covering them in their little barn.” The sheep had to be pushed and pulled to the top of the snow drift and then herded to a safer space.
The animals first, and with this storm some odd work follows. Wind pushed snow through hairline spaces creating indoor drifts in some barns and garages. Terroux-Barret has to clean out a vintage Camaro. ”It had to come in through the driver’s side.” It was parked outside with doors closed and windows up, but a missing seal and wind at just the right angle pushed snow inside the car, nearly filling it.
“It’s like moving concrete,” said Barrett. A tractor with a front loader helps move the snow piles. In tight areas work is all muscle. “We are going to be out here with shovels and pitchforks and just digging holes,” said Terroux-Barrett.