Several cell tower workers were stranded for three nights in December when a blizzard blew in on the site they were working on the 9,800-feet-high Steens Mountain in Oregon, according Matt Fine, president, Harney County Search and Rescue, who coordinated the effort to rescue the crew.
The four tower workers attempted to leave the mountain when the storm rolled in but white-out conditions and treacherous roads caused their snow cat to get stuck 200 yards from the tower. They spent that first night in the snow cat, before making it back to the base of the tower where they took refuge in a concrete block structure, where they had a propane-fired generator, food, water and electricity.
“It was pretty hectic up there for a while,” Fine told AGL Bulletin. “But they found enough a break in the storm to get back to the tower so they could get inside the heated buildings.”
The next day rescue crews attempted to reach the men but were not able to get closer than a mile from the site before the weather and snow conditions forced them down.
Finally, on the fourth day, a break in the weather allowed seven snowmobiles and a tracked snow vehicle to reach the workers and transport them to the Harney county command post. All crew members were said to be in good health.
The four men rescued were Brandon Seaver, 36, Jeffery Syversen, 49, Ray Syversen, 48, and Jeff Brown, 48. They had been on the mountain putting the finishing touches on a new tower that they had begun constructing last summer.