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Bomb Cyclone' Unleashes New Hardship on Flood-Ravaged Nebraska, Midwest

04-12-2019
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After being hit by devastating floods from a late winter storm one month ago, Americans in parts of the Midwest are experiencing hardship once again.

It seemed more like late January than mid-April when this second "bomb cyclone" struck millions of Americans.  A bomb cyclone is when cold air meets warm air and brings freezing temperatures, high winds and heavy snow.

This one brought up to 30-inches of snow to parts of the Midwest, 70-mile per hour winds, and travel chaos from Colorado to Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

That's the same region of the country that was hit by a bomb cyclone that caused historic flooding in mid-March.

And driving conditions? "The roads are terrible," said one South Dakota sheriff's department spokesman.

In many parts of the Midwest, road conditions remain life-threatening and hazardous. 

At one point on Thursday, at least 500 crashes were reported on roads and highways in Minnesota. Truckers transporting consumer goods and agricultural products to market were stranded in South Dakota.

"With snow and ice and the wind blowing, its quite an experience. It's been kind of rough with the rolling black out because the truck stop has been shut down basically," explained Jeff Mitchell, a truck driver from Tucson, Arizona. "We can't get in to get any food or anything but we have plenty with us. We were well prepared."

Thousands of flights were cancelled throughout the region and at least 25,000 homes were without power in parts of Minnesota and South Dakota.

In Nebraska where people are still recovering from last month's floods, farmer Brad Wilkins said, "Instead of Nebraska Strong it should be Nebraska tired."

But the heavy snowfall hasn't prevented Wilkins from operating his feed and grain business. "Our producers that are out there are putting in 18-20 hours a day because in weather like this you have to be out there checking mama cows," he explained.

Just one month ago, Nebraskans suffered their worst flood in recorded history. Wilkins said it is like deja vu. "This feels like Groundhog's Day. Couple weeks ago we had about the same situation and the ground was not thawed and that caused flooding situations. Although the water is down now, the infrastructure is still really compromised."

Wilkins is concerned for his fellow farmers who are stressed and overburdened financially, mentally and physically from devastating loss and hardship. 

He urges them to seek help from a pastor or trusted friends. "Whether it's our faith communities or whatever, we just need to. We're ALL in this together and we'll get through it together."
 

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