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In this photo from the South Dakota Highway Patrol on Thursday, visibility on I-90 east of Rapid City is very poor due to blowing snow.
courtesy of South Dakota Highway Patrol
In this photo from the South Dakota Highway Patrol on Thursday, visibility on I-90 east of Rapid City is very poor due to blowing snow.

Clean up from late winter storm underway


Gary Matthews - March 13, 2019

STURGIS, S.D. – Today begins cleanup for areas in western South Dakota hit by a late winter storm.

In Sturgis, crews were up early to begin clearing main arteries before hitting residential streets.

Snow totals haven’t been that impressive in Sturgis, but the wind sure has. Blowing snow resulted in heavy drifting around town.

In Rapid City, snow removal crews were forced to work around abandoned cars on some streets, as well as a semi that had gotten blown over on Catron Boulevard. Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris says they did have a handful of rescues overnight, but for the most part, people heeded the storm warnings.

The State Highway Patrol reopened I-90 from the Wyoming line to Rapid City just before noon, but they cautioned travel was still hazardous. Heavy drifting of snow kept I-90 closed east of Rapid City, with snow drifts in some areas over 6-feet high.

Most state highways across the western South Dakota plains were either closed or under no travel advisories Thursday. Schools and many businesses are closed today as are all state government offices. Governor Kristi Noem announced the closures this morning and said only essential personnel within state offices should report.

This afternoon, Governor Noem announced she was opening the state Emergency Operations Center and said the state is preparing an emergency declaration.

Noem says state government continues to provide resources as needed to counties and cities dealing with the local impacts of the storm.

As for snow totals – they varies around the region. Hill City reported 4-inches, Johnson Siding and Sundance each reported between 8 and 9 inches, Summerset reported 3, Spearfish reported 7.5-inches and Cheyenne Crossing received 13.5-inches of snow.  Right here in Sturgis, there have been reports of only 2.5 to 3.5 inches of snow.

Some areas had difficulty measuring snow due to the extreme blowing and drifting. Many areas reported snow drifts several feet in height.  



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