Heavy snow, strong winds and freezing rain will continue through the Upper Plains Wednesday and to make it a little more interesting, a few severe thunderstorms and possibly “thundersnow” will cover the area. The majority of the snow will fall late afternoon and through the night into Thursday. Estimate amounts vary between 5″ and 10″.
This storm now has a name, too. According to the Weather Channel, welcome to ‘Winter Storm Walda.’ So, if Waldo and Wanda had a little blizzard of their own, they would name it ‘Walda.’ Okay.
No travel is advised on many South Dakota roads and highways. Also, authorities closed I-90 from Sioux Falls to Rapid City Tuesday night.
Road Conditions Legend:
Many remained without power Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as the ice storm rolled through. The hum of generators were heard through the night in many neighborhoods.
Several fire stations across the area opened their doors to those without power and generators to offer emergency needs.
Power companies are asking for patience as they continue to work around the clock as damage is quite extensive.
As of 9am Wednesday morning, power is out in Tea which could be the result of a major power line down between Tall Grass and Sundowner.
UPDATE: Power poles “snapped” along basically in a row from Louise Ave toward Tea, including over I 29, which has now been shut down near the Tea exit. – Thanks Tea Storm Chasers
Xcel Energy reported 17,475 people were without power as of early Wednesday morning.Overall, nearly 25,000 people are without power as a result of this dangerous storm.
Many small communities, such as Dell rapids, were hit particularly hard as residents have been without power for nearly 24 hours.
Several hundred calls were received by the street department overnight into Wednesday morning regarding downed power lines and broken tree branches.
According to Argus911, around 3:45am Wednesday, Sioux Falls firefighters were trying to contain a downed power line before it touched a nearby vehicle.
According to KSFY, Xcel Energy crews from Minnesota and North Dakota and contractor crews from Iowa arrived in South Dakota Tuesday to help restore power. More crews are expected to arrive from Wisconsin on Wednesday. There were over one hundred people in the field overnight working on the power.
Tuesday and Wednesday, several flights heading to and from Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver were cancelled. Others were experiencing delays up to several hours. Many travelers scrambled for hotel rooms while others chose to sleep on the terminal benches. To check on flights at Sioux Falls Regional Airport: www.sfairport.com or 336-0762.
You can watch the Tea Storm Chasers ‘LIVE’ this morning responding to fires and other storm related issues at http://www.teasctv.org
On an interesting fact note, the weather service says 20 inches of snow fell in Rapid City on Tuesday – the city’s snowiest day of all time.
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