As ice falls, next couple days could be most dangerous in Sioux Falls
Emergency officials in Sioux Falls are warning the next couple of days could be the most dangerous after the recent ice storm that swept through the area.
City and emergency officials held an update on storm recovery efforts Thursday. Xcel Energy had restored power to 47,800 customers in South Dakota. 20,000 customers were still without service.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras said now that the ice has passed crews are making significant progress. Sideras said a vast majority of people in Sioux Falls should have power by Friday.
Wednesday evening heavy snow followed the ice storm that pummeled the area the past couple of days. Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether said overnight areas of Sioux Falls received five to eight inches of snow.
A snow alert was issued in the city Thursday morning. Main roads and emergency roads were plowed by 9 am. Huether said the plows started working in neighborhoods, but due to the amount of debris they have switched the plan.
Snow plows were initially plowing one lane into neighborhood roads, but Mark Cotter, Sioux Falls Public Works, said it was counterproductive. Snow plows have now been laying salt in areas where debris is covering streets.
As the weather clears, Fire Chief Jim Sideras warned people cleaning up debris to be cautious. Specifically, he told property owners to wait to use any heavy equipment—like chainsaws. Sideras said now is not the time for people to learn how to use a chainsaw.
"You have plenty of time to remove snow and take care of trees. Take your time," Sideras said.
Sideras also asked property owners to remove snow and debris around their fire hydrants so fire fighters can access them in the event of a fire.
Emergency officials went on to say the coming days after the storm could be the most dangerous. They warned that ice, branches and power lines are likely to fall in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said if you don't need to go out you should probably wait a day or two for things to thaw.
"Sioux Falls, take your time," Mayor Huether said. "Stay safe."
Friday, December 13 2013 4:02 PM EST2013-12-13 21:02:52 GMT
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