Southcentral South Dakota continues to dig out of winter storms

Southcentral South Dakota is only beginning the process of clearing up from two consecutive blizzards.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 5:11 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Southcentral South Dakota is done with the snow and the high winds, and onto warmer weather. But the effects from two consecutive blizzards are only just taking a hold on the area, and it could be weeks, months and maybe longer for some to recover from.

Drifts as tall as most people cover roads, with crews still working to clear them even now. It’s one of the strongest storms the area has seen in at least a decade. Mellette County rancher Richard Medansky said he has neighbors and friends that still aren’t dug out, having been trapped in by the snow for two weeks.

“As long as I can remember, that we’ve ever had a storm like this. Even with the new technology, the snow blowers and everything, it’s still having a lot of trouble getting through a lot of areas.” Medansky said.

Even as the roads are slowly being cleared off, one issue that remains is where all of the snow is supposed to go. Those drifts are still getting in the way for many trying to reach their livestock, and many haven’t been able to do so in weeks.

“We haven’t had a storm like this for decades I’d say. We’re out of places to put snow, we can’t reach livestock or feed sources.” State Senator Troy Heinert (D-Mission) said.

Those that had feed sources could be buried under feet of snow. All of that means more resources for livestock will be needed.

“With three years of the drought, and the number of cattle that are out here, we’re going to need assistance on helping feed cattle from whoever can help us out.” Medansky said.

Some warmer weather on the way for the area could help start to clear some snow. But it’s so packed in, it could stick around all winter long.

“We got this in the middle part of December. This snow is going to be for a long time.” Heinert said.