Note: This story has been updated with information and photos from Wednesday morning.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The expected snow and wind arrived in Tyler Tuesday and into today.
Before 10 a.m. Wednesday, a snow drift had already reached the roof line of Stephanie LaBrune’s garage.
LaBrune, the city administrator/clerk, lives just outside of Tyler.
“We got a lot of snow. We got a lot of wind,” LaBrune said. The city crews were moving snow.
LaBrune said one of the concerns at her home and in the city is keeping up with the drifting snow. Drifts that get too big will likely get hard and be tough to move, she said.
Areas around Tyler reported five to seven inches of snow by early this morning, according to KELOLAND meteorologist Jay Trobec.
Thank goodness for some warm weather of the past few weeks, otherwise where would the snow go?
“We lost a lot of snow,” said Judd Guida, the utilities supervisor for the city of Tyler, Minnesota. The recent streak of warm weather helped melt snow so the city could get more removed from city streets and corners, he said.
It made room for more snow this week. Tyler is in Lincoln County, Minnesota. It will be in the thick of snow that starts Tuesday and continues into Thursday.
“We could get 22 to 24 inches by the time it’s all done,” LaBrune said.
Guida said the city’s first snow arrived in mid-November. Since then, it has received about 25.5 inches of snow and 1.3 inches of rain as of Feb. 21.
“So far, we’ve been able to handle it,” LaBrune said.
The city had been piling up snow in areas such as park parking lots, but it found a new spot for hauled snow on empty city property near the hospital, she said.
Tyler Hardware Hank store owner Bob Sichmeller was caring for customers Tuesday morning.
“The snow just here about 15 minutes ago,” Sichmeller said not long after 10 a.m. “I don’t know that anybody is looking forward to it (storm). I think we were all looking forward to spring.”
Snow started early this winter and December was one of the snowiest Decembers in several years, Guida said.
By Tuesday, Sichmeller said, most local residents had already stocked up on shovels and ice material early in the winter.
“People are pretty much prepared,” Sichmeller said. “Mostly they are stocking up on groceries…”
Maynard’s Food Center was busy on Tuesday morning, manager Kateline Dahl said.
“It’s been busy the past two days,” Dahl said. “It’s like this every time it storms.”
“Milk and eggs,” are the most popular items, she said. “We usually try to get as much in as we can. If we know a storm is coming, we order heavy on those things.”
Dahl said it’s likely the store will try and stay open during the storm in case residents run out of important items.
Many of the employees do live in town, Dahl said.
Sichmeller said he usually stays open because he can walk to work.
But not every resident works in town, LaBrune said.
The town has commuters who work in Brookings, South Dakota, or in Marshall.
When the state of Minnesota starts to close highways during the storm that tends to make it easier for employers to close, LaBrune said.
This week’s storm will bring snow but also wind. Gusts of 40 to 50 mph are possible, KELOLAND meteorologists said.
But wind isn’t anything new to the city on the Buffalo Ridge, known for its wind turbines.
“Southwest Minnesota is known of its wind. That’s another challenge…,” LaBrune said.
The wind can cause blizzard conditions as well as complicate snow removal.
Guida said even if the snow stops, the wind can cause snow to pile up and the city crew may need to clear the blown snow.
The city has four employees to clear snow, he said. They also can hire a local farmer and truck driver to help if needed, Guida said.
The plan as of Tuesday for this week’s storm is to plow as needed, which includes heading out at 5 in the morning, Guida said. Then, depending on the snow, wind and duration, the crews may plow after the noon hour, for example, he said.
“It’s easier to plow six inches twice, then all at once,” Guida said.
In general, the priorities are emergency routes such as routes to the local hospital and routes around gas stations, he said.
Guida the snow itself is a challenge but so are unthoughtful drivers.
Vehicles left on the street create problems for snow removal, he said. So do vehicles that don’t avoid snowplows, he said.
“Don’t park on the street. If you turn down the street and see flashing lights, find a different route,” Guida said.