The historic storm halted traffic and knocked out power as temperatures plummeted. It even caused the Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns NFL football game to get moved to Detroit, due to the massive amounts of snow, which in some areas received more than six feet.
The National Weather Service said that the snowfall produced near zero visibility and paralyzed the hardest hit communities.
Their statement said, “Very cold air will accompany this event, with temperatures 20 degrees below normal.”
However, for nearby dairy farm, it was just another day. Tyler and Kelly Reynolds, part owners of Reyncrest Farm, milk 1,400 cows and farm 2,700 acres alongside their family in Corfu.
“Everyone at the farm prepared for this big snowstorm,” Kelly says. “It honestly was just a band right around the farm.”
Kelly reported 20 inches of snow as of noon Friday and shared they received another 10 inches since. Altogether, 30 inches of snow fell on their dairy farm.
When it comes to preparing for a winter blizzard, like this one, the Reynolds family says they make sure things are tucked away, that the roads are plowed, that extra bedding for livestock is provided and that all the cattle are well cared for 365 days a year, even during a blizzard.
“My father-in-law started plowing around midnight. Then my husband, Tyler, headed out at 2 a.m. to plow as well,” she says. “Our area is pretty used to this kind of weather, so it’s not a huge deal for us and our employees. My sister-in-law lives off the farm, so she just stayed at my in-laws last night, so she could be sure to get to work.”
In North Collins, N.Y., the Gerst family has been digging out since the massive storm dumped more than four feet of snow on their dairy.
“We had to shovel two houses, two freestall barns and take care of our coverall barn,” Magdalene Gerst says.
Knowing the storm was coming, Gerst shares that her father, Chuck, and husband, Anthony, spent the beginning of the week preparing.
“We moved cows off pasture, got the snowblower out, and made sure the tractors were ready,” she says. “My husband went to the farm at 4 a.m. on Saturday to make sure there was enough snow plowed to be able to feed. They did all the regular chores.”
Gerst says her family is thankful that the milk truck was able to get to them, but also says the truck was about 8 hours late picking them up, so an extra milking had to go in.
“We are thankful our tank has extra room,” she says.
The Gerst family owns and operates Richmond Family Farms LLC in North Collins, home to 200 cows.
“I’m the seventh generation on the farm, so we are pretty used to this,” Gerst says. “And fortunately, it’s not this bad every season and every snowstorm we don’t have to worry about all of this.”