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Published October 11, 2013, 09:56 AM

Daugaard and Thune fly over area hit by blizzard

Gov. Dennis Daugaard and U.S. Sen. John Thune flew over areas hard hit by a weekend snowstorm that killed thousands of animals.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Gov. Dennis Daugaard and U.S. Sen. John Thune flew over areas hard hit by a weekend snowstorm that killed thousands of animals.

They did an aerial assessment of the blizzard damage and livestock losses Thursday afternoon.

State officials estimate at least 10,000 to 20,000 head of livestock died, but that estimate will likely rise as more information is gathered.

Some ranchers in western South Dakota have reported losing 50 percent or more of their cattle.

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem says she plans to see the damage firsthand on Sunday, depending on the House of Representatives schedule.

The state’s congressional delegation vowed to push for quick passage of the stalled farm bill because it’s the best way to provide financial help to ranchers.

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