NEAR ALTURA, Minn. (KTTC) – This winter has been brutal in more ways than one. The latest snow dumping brought treacherous driving conditions and devastating damage to south eastern Minnesota, particularly in some rural communities.
Devastation came early Sunday morning.
“It was a scramble,” R & K Dairy farmer Robert Kreidermacher said. “I know there are animals alive in there. We have to get them out.”
It was around 4 a.m when Kreidermacher realized the roof of his cattle barn came down – with 80 animals still inside.
“You never know what you’re going to endure, what you’re going to face, what kind of weather might come up,” Kreidermacher continued.
The heavy snow fall caused several barns near Altura to cave in.
“I’ve heard four, five just in our local radius,” Kreidermacher said. “Local people, people I respect.”
One of them just down the road a few miles.
“4 o clock in the morning, yesterday morning, the rafters started cracking,” Shady Crest Holstein farmer Scott Herber said.
It was then that Herber got a call from his team. His barn, home to about 250 cattle, had also collapsed.
It was something neither farm had ever experienced.
“It’s not pretty,” Herber said. “You can’t prepare for it. It’s been a very unusual experience. This barn, we’ve been milking it for 22 years, and nothing close to this bad.”
The heartbreaking damage worsening an already brutal winter.
“It’s been a long, cold winter,” Herber continued.
But with help from their tough community, they’re determined to pick up the pieces.
“You don’t find out who’s there for you, until you need them,” Kreidermacher said. “We’ve encountered other obstacles. Some probably even more tough than this, but we’ve come together. We’ve found strength in each other, strength in our faith and strength in our family and community. And, we’ll continue, we’ll do that again.”
No humans were injured and while there were some livestock losses, most of the cattle were un-injured.
Kreidermacher is especially grateful to the Altura Fire Department and the help they were able to provide.
Both farms are still determining exactly how much financial damage there is.