The City of Sioux Falls has declared a state of emergency to help fight issues caused by the current ice storm in the area.
Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether and other emergency officials updated the city on clean up efforts during a news conference Wednesday morning.
Huether called the storm an unprecedented event that will take months to recover from.
The declaration allows the City to gather public and private resources to help fight issues caused by the current storm.
Currently, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Crews are working overtime. Fire Chief Jim Sideras says crews have responded to about ten times the normal amount of calls and at one point 10 fires were burning at once.
"Crews are tired, yes, but this is what they do," Sideras said.
The current rain and ice is expected to be followed by heavy amounts of snow. Mark Cotter, Sioux Falls Public Works warned that fallen branches and downed power lines will limit snow removal efforts.
Cotter says the city will clean up the destruction caused by the storm. However, he and Mayor Huether remind citizens to be patient. Cotter says clean up could take weeks.
Cotter reminds homeowners if their power lines are down they need to call their power company. Cotter also reminds drivers if they come to a traffic light that is out they need to treat it as an all stop intersection.
Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says police have responded to over 1,000 emergency calls since Tuesday. Barthel says they respond to about 200 calls on a normal day.
"Please be patient, calls are being prioritized and someone will get to you," Barthel said in the news conference.