Snow collapses 11 barns

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(Host) State officials say some of the biggest damage from this week’s blizzard is occurring on Vermont farms.

Eleven barns have collapsed under the weight of the snow and 21 cows have been killed.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) As most parts of Vermont dig out from more than 2 feet of snow, state officials are urging farmers to clear as much snow as possible from the roofs of their barns.

Barns have collapsed on at least ten farms – more than 20 cows have been killed.

The Department of Emergency Management is concerned that strong winds will make this situation even worse.

Governor Jim Douglas says the state is keeping close tabs on this problem:

(Douglas) “Unfortunately there are several barns that have collapsed. We continue to monitor the situation both at the Emergency Management division and our Agency of Agriculture. There have been some casualties among farm animals, a few dozen injuries and fatalities of cows.”

(Kinzel) Douglas says the Agency of Transportation is working with local town highway officials to clear some critical back roads used by milk trucks.

(Douglas) In a couple of cases we’ve heard that some back roads have been impassable or difficult for milk trucks to traverse in order to pick up the milk and get it to the processing plant. So in that case we want to know the Agriculture Agency and V.E.M. are contacting municipalities, asking them to make those roads a priority where there’s a milk pick up that needs to be accomplished.”

(Kinzel) In cases of a barn collapse, the Agency of Agriculture is working with neighboring farms to help with the temporary relocation of the animals.

For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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