Aberdeen covered in ice after freezing rainfall

Heavy ice caused tree limbs to fall on roadways and power lines across the Aberdeen Area.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:27 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The rainfall from received on Wednesday froze once Aberdeen dropped into below freezing temperatures Thursday morning, leaving the Hub City covered in a sheet of ice.

While trees and buildings are covered in ice, the main roadways were decently clear thanks to preparation from the city that started Wednesday.

“They started in the evening hours getting some chemical down on some of the main thoroughfares before it hit, and then of course once it hit, it got slick really quick even with the stuff down. So, they kept doing that throughout the night and by this morning, you noticed that the side streets, none of those had really been touched much, but the main streets, once you got to those, they were in good shape,” said Aberdeen City Manager Joe Gaa.

The streets were, however, covered in tree limbs. The heavy ice caused many branches to fall into roadways and powerlines, which caused a few power outages across the Aberdeen area.

“We have a lot of limbs and trees that have gone down in backyards and taken down customers’ service wires. We have about 80 of those logged, but as of right now, we’ve cleaned up all of our circuit feeders in the town of Aberdeen,” said Mike Williams, Northwestern Energy operations manager.

If the wind picks up in the evening, however, Williams says that could cause more outages.

”Normally, the wind, as the ice is building on power the lines, will actually build an air foil. That’s what causes the power lines to really jump around,” said Williams.

If power lines are down, Northwestern Energy staff recommend calling both them and emergency services.

”We definitely want you to call Northwestern Energy, but also call 911. 911 might be able to get there quicker than us if we’re tied up on another one, so that’s definitely a good idea to use the emergency services also,” said Northwestern Energy Electric Operation Manager Mike Baumgarn.

Northwestern Energy staff say they should have all power lines in Aberdeen restored and running by Thursday evening if the wind doesn’t cause more damage.

View Northwestern Energy’s outage map here.