BLACK HILLS, SD -
People living in the Black Hills are digging out of waist deep snow after a monster storm. But all this snow and the accompanying wind is making it nearly impossible to clear roads and interstates. And in an emergency conference call, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard makes a plea to people in the Black Hills.
"Please, if you don't need to travel, if it is not an emergency, please stay home," Daugaard said.
Daugaard's says the state will use National Guard equipment to dig out from underneath the snow, including tactical trucks, bulldozers and large snow blowers. Crews from across the state are imbedded throughout the Black Hills, to begin removing snow from all angles. But Daugaard is worried curious travelers will ignore travel restrictions.
"They are just going to impair our ability to open the roadways and force us to divert our workforce away from roads to people," Daugaard said.
Travel is prohibited until Sunday morning in Pennington County. The heavy snow has also caused wide-spread outages with an estimated 45-thousand people without power Saturday night.
"It's probably one of the biggest storms that Black Hills power has experienced in a long time, in the last 30 years, at least," Black Hills Power Spokesman Mutch Usera said.
Power isn't expected to be on until Sunday at the earliest, as crews work on the ground and helicopters pin-point damage from the sky.
"More importantly, we need to assess where the damages are," Usera said. "By identifying those we can restore power in large quantities rather than turning on power to one customer at a time."
And as more help is on the way, both to repair electrical lines and clear roads, state officials are asking storm victims to remain safe and have patience.
Here is a phone interview with Kevin Woster, who was in Murdo.
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