SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As far as memorable storms and weather events, the April 2013 ice storm is not easy for many people in Sioux Falls to forget.
After up to an inch of ice collected in many areas, branches and power lines started breaking, creating a widespread public emergency. On April 9, 2013, the first day of the storm, there were 1,020 emergency calls with up to 53,000 residents without power.
All the widespread damage led to a cleanup campaign called Operation Timber Strike. You can view video, interviews and reporting from KELOLAND News on the April 2013 ice storm in the video above.
“The sheer amount of ice in that storm was impressive,” KELOLAND meteorologist Brian Karstens recalled. “It all unfolded in a rapid amount of time, folks were really just trying to react to the situation at hand.”
The phrase, “I’ve never seen anything like it” was uttered by a number of witnesses interviewed during or after the ice storm in 2013.
“A lot of snap, crackle and pop,” Jason Wicks summarized the sound of branches and trees collapsing because of the weight of ice in a 2013 interview.
City of Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith pointed out other natural disasters like tornadoes and floods typically only impact certain specific areas, where the ice storm was widespread enough to impact the entire city limits.
“Our fire department was extremely busy as was police,” Smith said. “It happened in a hurry.