The Yakima Valley Dairy Farmers Association said that the hundreds of cows died in the Yakima Valley as winds of 80 miles per hour and frigid weather lashed the region, KEPR reported.
More snow is expected in the Pacific Northwest and Yakima Valley, the report said.
BREAKING NEWS: Winter storms kills 1,600 dairy cows in the region.
Chelsie Riordan, spokeswoman for the Dairy Farmers of Washington, said the total loss represents about $2 million in damages, the Yakima Herald reported.
“Without our employees, there’s no way we, or our cows, could survive this storm,” Alyssa Haak, a dairy farmer in Prosser, the news outlet.
Farmers are now preparing more bedding, thawing water troughs, and adding extra feed.
“To shield our cows from the wind, we stacked straw bales to create a windbreak for our cows. I give a lot of credit to our milk truck drivers, too. Without their bravery, we wouldn’t be able to get our milk off the farm,” Haak said.
Dairy farmers are assessing losses while preparing for more snow and winds while working together to get through these tough times. No injuries have been reported by farmers or farm workers.
Another farmer said he’s working long hours to protect his cattle.
“These have been the worst few days of my life,” he told the outlet. “We’re just devastated. I don’t think we’ve ever been hit with weather like this.”
A farmer in Sunnyside said he’s helping his neighbors.
The weekend's winter storm reportedly claimed the lives of 1,600 dairy cows in the Yakima Valley.
“Saturday was brutal,” Markus Rollinger told KHQ-TV. “We put in a 36-hour day, but we’ve been fortunate. I’ve spent a lot of time helping my fellow dairy farmers and supporting what they’re going through. My brother and I are trying to keep roads plowed for our employees and the milk trucks.”
Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency for Washington and farmers are hoping for state assistance.
“Everyone in our state needs to focus on preparing for the snow and staying safe,” Inslee said in a statement. “Weather forecasters predict this may be a storm unlike one we’ve seen in many years. I encourage everyone to stay off the roads if possible and plan ahead if you must travel.”
Good morning. Another rough day pretty much everywhere. Please continue to be cautious – slow down – as you’re likely to find snow, ice, slush or some combination pretty much anywhere you go. Pass travel? Snoqualmie is closed with no ETA. https://t.co/uZZoE6QjvB
— Washington State DOT (@wsdot) February 12, 2019
“Another rough day pretty much everywhere. Please continue to be cautious—slow down—as you’re likely to find snow, ice, slush or some combination pretty much anywhere you go,” the Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted Feb. 12.
AccuWeather noted on Feb. 12 that Seattle experienced its snowiest month in 50 years.
“While this month may become Seattle’s snowiest February on record, as it stands with a total of 20.2 inches about one-third of the way through, their snowiest February on record was in 1916 when they received 21.5 inches,” said the website.
— Trooper Rick Johnson (@wspd2pio) February 12, 2019
The University of Washington also canceled classes at all of their campuses on Feb. 12.