Beacon Transcript – A Christmas Day storm has brought power outages and other issues across South Dakota as some residents may be still feeling the effects of the record weather.
Most everyone was dreaming of a white Christmas. Unfortunately, the weather was worse for wear than expected. South Dakota experienced quite an extreme weather during the period.
The Christmas Day storm brought strong winds and blizzards. It also came with freezing rains and even possible lightning strikes.
According to the National Weather service, local precipitation records were also broken. Pierre is one such example. The Christmas Day storm brought 0.92 inches of precipitation. Its previous record reached 0.48 inches and was registered in 2009.
Temperatures in the area stayed at about 30 degrees or more throughout the evening. As such, the falling rain and sleet remained water in most cases.
At the same time, the winds blew with up to 59 mph. Although there wasn’t much snow, it was blown away and kept circulating.
The high winds and low temperatures made for an unpleasant combination. Travelling was reported as being difficult on Monday. Thick ice was said to have coated the streets.
In combination with the strong and gusty winds, it made it difficult to travel. High winds are also the cause highway travel concerns.
State transportation authorities advise caution when traveling. They also maintain that circulating on the highway is still quite unrecommended.
On late Sunday, authorities proceeded to close Interstate 90. It was closed in both directions to and from Vivian, in the south of Pierre, to Rapid City. As of Monday, 1:45 P.M., it has been officially reopened.
I-90 was closed to traffic because of the difficult weather conditions. Strong winds and snow-packed, icy roads made it difficult to travel. Whilst I-90 has been reopened, some roads are still quite unrecommended.
No-Travel Advisories have been issued for a number of roads. They span across the northeast, northwest, and north-central areas of the state.
Those interested or having to travel can obtain road information from a number of sources. They can call 511. Or they could access safetravelusa.com/sd and download the SDDOT511 app.
The Christmas Day storm affected more than just the roads. Quite a few state residents were affected by power outages.
Brenda Kleinjan, a South Dakota Rural Electric Association spokeswoman, went to offer details. According to her, around 19,000 of its utilizers were without power early Monday.
Crews are said to be working on repairing the damages done by the storm. The powerline repairs are underway and the crews are reportedly making progress.
As it is, some residents might still be experiencing power problems and facing outages. Around 14,000 electric cooperative members, consumers, and owners are still without power.
The outages are spread throughout the state. They spread from the northeast to the southwest corners of South Dakota. Most outages are reportedly affecting the northeast and northwest.
The aforementioned Kleinjan offered more details. Some 200 outages were reported in Jones County. 212 more were registered in Stanley County.
Some minor outage problems were also reported in Lake Oahe and Sully County. Still, the problems were minor and repair crews have reportedly already restored power in the area.
Jessie Tucker, of the West Central Electric Cooperative, also offered details. According to Tucker, the Christmas Day storm and its consequences stretched for about 25 miles. They began around west Fort Pierre and up to the Four Corners.
Several miles of power lines and 75 poles were damaged or put down. Both Kleinjan and Tucker stated that restoring them might take some more time.
Image Source: Wikimedia