City of Sioux Falls prepares for first heavy snow fall of the season

What started as freezing rain Thursday evening, quickly turned into snow. It’s the first true test of the season for the City of Sioux Falls Street Division.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:33 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - What started as freezing rain Thursday evening, quickly turned into snow. It’s the first true test of the season for the City of Sioux Falls Street Maintenance Division. But they’ve got a lot more help this year to clear the roads.

“We like to have about 25 to 30 extra, what we call seasonal employees. So they’ll stay on for about three to four months. Right now, we’re sitting at about 23, so we’re sitting pretty good. We did raise the hourly rate for those employees.” Sioux Falls Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen said.

More plows out on the streets means more chances for those plows to get hit. The city is reminding people that like they would out on the state’s highways and interstates, to slow down and don’t crowd the plow. Often times, the safest place to be is behind the plow where the path is cleared.

“These guys have been working a lot of the times, have been working for 12 to 16 hour shifts. They get tired, and they’re trying to do the best that they can and clear the road off. Sometimes people try to get in a hurry and try to sneak around them real quick.” Sioux Falls Street Maintenance Supervisor Daniel Whipple said.

With as heavy and uniform as the snow is, it’s a good reminder that certain routes will be prioritized to be cleared first. Hansen said no matter where you go, there will be snow and ice to deal with.

“Those drivers will take about an hour to two hours to clear those routes. You could have a little bit of snow on those routes, because it takes them that amount of time to get around.” Hansen said.

Hanson also wants to remind people that with the heavy snow could come a snow alert to be called. After at minimum two inches of snow in Sioux Falls, the city could be out plowing those routes. So Hansen asks people to know where those routes are.

“We’re not going to always clear the streets, we’re always going to focus on those emergency routes. We also have secondary routes, and we have a total mileage of over 1,200 miles of those emergency and secondary routes. We have a total over 3,400 lane miles in the city.” Hansen said.

As of Thursday evening, a snow alert has been issued for Sioux Falls. More information about the snow alert can be found here.