Sioux Falls is encased in ice and while it may be beautiful it can also be extremely dangerous. More than an inch and a half of ice has hit the city knocking over countless trees and branches, bringing down power lines with them as well.
As of 2pm Tuesday, Sioux Falls Police had more than 350 emergency calls due to the bad weather. To deal with all the calls coming in the city has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Basically what that means is now all the city and county emergency agencies are operating under one roof. They do this to streamline communication and make sure all available resources are used appropriately and efficiently.
"All the decisions are being made together so that were focusing all our efforts of city resources to make sure that the community is safe and were ready for any other weather as we know its bound to happen, as this gets worse we're going to be ready for that working together to handle that problem." Said Chief Jim Sideras with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.
The second wave of this winter storm is currently making it's way through the Sioux Falls area, bringing those high winds and freezing rain.
Branches are snapping under the weight of the ice and officials say things are only going to get worse with heavy, slushy snow expected to fall in the coming days. The EOC is telling people to be prepared to be without power for extended periods of time and unless you have to be on the roads just stay home.
That heavy snow is still on it's way to Sioux Falls, but in order for snow removal to be effective the street department needs your help by clearing streets of your cars and whatever branches you can move. Like Mayor Huether says, this is a great opportunity for people to be good neighbors and help those who need it. But if those branches are too big or you think they brought down power lines with them please play it safe and call the professionals for help.
City and county officials are working around the clock and as hard as they can. People just need to use good common sense to make it through this beautiful yet ugly event.
"And then on Thursday afternoon everyone can come out of their shelters and we can go on and have a nice good weekend but like we said both the city and county are just asking for a little bit of patience from our citizens and we're confident that they'll give us that so that we don't have any injuries because that's the last thing we want." Said Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Lynn DeYoung.
Things are starting to intensify so once again if you don't need to be out, please stay patient and stay safe.
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