The estimate of dairy cows that died in blizzard conditions in early February in the Lower Yakima Valley of Eastern Washington has grown to about 1,750 animals.

The financial loss is conservatively estimated at about $2 million, said Chelsi Riordan of Dairy Farmers of Washington.

“It’s been a really devastating couple of days over there,” she said.

Farmers and crews worked around the clock over the weekend to try to move cows into milking barns and other shelters and to build additional wind breaks by stacking up straw.

But wind speeds of as high as 80 mph, in addition to snow and bitter cold, overwhelmed their efforts.

 Dairy farmer and veterinarian Bill Wavrin called it a 100-year weather event.

          – Tri-City Herald