SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Thursday's blizzard conditions took a major toll on drivers in Sioux Falls, and also on the road crews that were sent out to keep the streets as clear as possible.
"This is probably the first time in the eight years I've been down here with Public Works that I've seen where we had consistent winds in the 30 to 40 mile-per-hour range with gusts up to 50 to 60 miles-per-hour," Street and Fleet manager Galynn Huber said.
That wind blew snow quickly over the chemicals that the crews put down, forcing them to re-do their work over and over again. This is one of the reasons Sioux Falls officials urged drivers to stay off the roads until the winds calmed down. It was a warning that a few people decided to ignore.
"Well, I'm out in it right now, but I'm going home. So, yeah, for the most part I think they are. I'm heading home right after this so I'm getting off the road," Jason Lillestol said.
The white-out conditions brought danger for every driver on city roads, including the snow plow drivers, which is something Huber takes very seriously.
"The safety of my employees is very high on my priority list. When you get into situations like this, if they tell me that it's too dangerous to be out in a certain location of town, I'm going to listen to that and pull them off that area," Huber said.
A snow alert is in effect for Sioux Falls, and crews will be trying to clear off all emergency routes through the night. After that, they will try and clear off as many side streets as possible.
"It's like chasing your tail, like the dog does. We're going to constantly be on those emergency routes. As soon as we finish the route, we'll turn back and hit it again. We'll just keep on doing that, we'll do that all the way through until after midnight tonight," Huber said.
For drivers like Lillestol, any work that the road crews are able to accomplish is appreciated.
"I think they're doing the best they can. It's icy and it's going to stay icy because of the temperatures, so they're doing the best they can," Lillestol said.
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