October 4th felt more like December 4th in the Black Hills. Some areas had at least two feet of snow for miles, and thousands of people were without power. This wet, heavy snow brought many no travel advisories, and even closed down Interstate 90 between Wall and the Wyoming border. The weather brought Mary Panerio's weekend plans to a screeching halt. She and her husband Drew, both South Dakota State alums, left Rapid City early Friday morning to get to Brookings for Hobo Day. Twenty miles later, the couple had to turn around.
Brady: Could you sum up your feelings in a way that would be appropriate for television?
" While we were driving there was no language used. Had my hand covering my mouth the entire time and had my eyes right on the road and I was the passenger. Drew had a death grip on the wheel," Panerio said.
Panerio said the roads are slick with deep slushy snow.
"You're wondering if on your way back, you might, um, get pulled off the road," Panerio said.
Many KELOLAND viewers showed us the storm through their eyes by sharing their photos with firstname.lastname@example.org, or posted them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using #kelowx.
"It's crazy," Mutch Usera, Black Hills Power, said.
By Friday afternoon, Usera said at least 4,400 customers were in the dark all over the area. 100 employees were out in shifts trying to restore power, but low visibility and deep snow made it impossible to patrol lines from substations to homes. For safety reasons, crews were brought in at 6 p.m., and will try to restore power Saturday morning. Usera said fixing power problems has been tricky, because it is hard to drive in the area, and the trees are creating even more road blocks.
"You have branches breaking, trees falling, because they're not able to with stand the weight. The leaves allow the snow to accumulate a little bit more," Usera said.
As for Panerio and her husband, they will try to make the best out of the situation.
"The snow is partially coming down sideways. When it pelts you in the face, it does not feel very good. So, it might be a hot chocolate and board games kind of weekend," Panerio said.