Magnús Ásgeir Elíasson, a farmer living in Iceland, has never seen weather as bad as what hit his rural area last week. His town was slammed with a powerful blizzard that brought hurricane-force winds and more than 10 feet of snow. The storm brought the entire town to a halt and posed significant risks to anyone left outside—including animals. Magnús' herd of horses was caught in the worst of the storm, and it was his intuition and quick thinking that saved their lives.
The people of Iceland are no strangers to snow. Winters are typically cold and harsh, but Magnús didn't expect a single storm to drop 10 feet of snow. His horses are accustomed to cold weather, but even they couldn't handle the sudden onslaught of deep snow.
When Magnús looked into his field after a night of raging snowfall, he couldn't believe what he saw.
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The world had turned completely white, and a gut feeling told him he needed to check on his horses. With a closer look, Magnús found his herd of hardy horses up to their necks in snow. They were freezing and couldn't move. If they weren't pulled out quickly, they would die.
One by one, Magnús dug his horses out of the deep snow. It was hard work, and maneuvering was a dangerous job. One wrong step could leave him buried, and he was conscious of his herd's health as he moved mounds of snow away from their bodies. It took time, but the dedicated horse owner freed his horses and watched as they slowly made their way to the barn for safety.
With most of his horse's safe, Magnús made a terrifying realization--one horse was missing. He considered the possibility that the horse had run away before the snow got too deep, but that wasn't the case. Magnús found the small horse completely buried in the deep snow. He didn't know how long the horse had been stuck like that, but he knew he needed to work fast.
Thankfully, neighbors showed up to help free the buried horse. They dug through the snow with shovels to allow the horse to climb out. With the horse's body free, they used a tractor to transport the freezing mare to safety.
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It was a scary experience, but all of Magnús' horses made it out of the snow. There were no injuries, but they needed immediate attention to warm them up and fend off frostbite. They're survivors, and they'll stay safely in their shelter until the snow melts and the weather calms.