The National Guard is dropping hay bales from helicopters over the western U.S. state of Colorado to feed stranded cattle, while officials in surrounding states work to restore power after two powerful snowstorms hit the region in two weeks.
Guard members began this week to drop hay over snow-crusted pastures where cattle are immobilized in deep drifts. Authorities say they could soon die of starvation or dehydration if not fed. That would deeply hurt the state's economy. The operation is hampered by the fact that many of the Guard's larger helicopters are in use in Iraq.
Meanwhile, officials in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma are working to restore electricity to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Emergency workers are searching for people trapped in their homes without food or power.
Many residents are staying in emergency shelters to keep warm.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.