Missouri is once again experiencing a horrible winter storm. In 2002, on this exact same date, we had one of the worst winter storms in our area’s history. We had over 2 inches of ice, topped with over 12 inches of snow and we were without electricity for a week. Our son was still a baby and we were preparing for his baptism. That was put on hold because we had to care for our livestock.
Kevin lived in our hog barns, night and day, to ensure our hogs were safe and comfortable for a week. He slept in the barns and ate in the barns. We made chili and kept it in a crock pot that was plugged into an outlet inside the hog barns, right next to the birthing crates. Since we wash our barns weekly he had a nice clean environment to eat and sleep in.
We had generators running to power the hog barns but our house had no power. We lost all of the food in our freezer and I had to move into my parents home for a week so our kids wouldn’t freeze to death. Our hogs had all of the electricity, heat and 100% of my husband’s attention. My husband and I knew we had to put our livestock as our top priority. We knew I could move into a hotel or my parent’s home with the kids but the hogs had no other options. They needed our undivided attention.
Today was very similar to January 31, 2002. We have had rain and sleet most of the day. Luckily, we haven’t lost any electricity yet but we are preparing for it just in case it happens. The weather is supposed to get worse through the night and it is predicted we will have 20 inches of snow by late tomorrow night.
And of course, today was a weaning day; and mother nature does’t wait on the weather so we had to proceed as normal. We had sows waiting to give birth and they needed to move into the birthing stalls for their safety and comfort. We proceeded as we normally do on a weaning day but the weather made our normal routine a challenge. My dad hauls the weaned pigs to the nursery for us. He was on his way to pick up the pigs when the roads got slick and he slid the truck and trailer into a ditch. Now the pick up has a nice big dent and two huge scratches on it. Luckily he was not hurt and no pigs were on the trailer when this happened.
The pigs still need to eat so we hauled feed today as well. We had several trucks that were stranded on the highway due to slick roads. They were unable to climb the hills and one feed truck slid off into the ditch attempting to climb a hill. It’s almost 10:00 pm and my husband is still out delivering feed to the hogs.
As I tucked my kids into bed tonight, we said a prayer that God would spare us some of the snow and keep our family and livestock safe and warm. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures, that is if we have electricity!