SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Last week’s winter storm paralyzed much of southeastern KELOLAND, with some towns reporting more than two feet of snow. For some communities like Sioux Falls, life came to a standstill. If you didn’t have a 4-wheel drive, you weren’t moving. And even 4-wheel drive didn’t guarantee you wouldn’t get stuck. More than a foot of snow, on top of up to 20 inches already on the ground in places, was more than enough to shut down travel.

Parts of I-90 and I-29 were closed as white-out conditions made driving impossible. The wind created snow drifts up to 4 feet high. These truckers were stranded for 4 days at an I-90 rest area near Salem.

Overworked city, county and state plow drivers say this was one of the worst storms they can remember in terms of snow.

“We’ve had events where we’ve been on for 3 or 4 days for 12-hour days, but the conditions on this one were much more difficult,” said Mark Honerman.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a foot of snow in this area,” said Jay Trobec. I mean, think about it the snow hasn’t been this deep since 2010, so we are talking 13 years since we’ve had a foot and a half of snow on the ground. I mean, people are now seeing their sidewalks for the first time in a long time.”

The storm took its toll on livestock producers, Travis Fink who farms near Delmont lost a building toppled by heavy snow.

“One of my cattle feeding facilities went down that night. We are just kind of keep everything fed and watered and happy bedded down and content, and that’s our number one objective right now is to not only make sure our animals are fed and watered, but they are healthy,” said Fink.

In Sioux Falls, mail could not be delivered, trash could not be picked up, businesses were closed and school was called off. During the heaviest of the snowfall, not even plows could not keep up. Vehicles became stuck all over the city, even on emergency snow routes. Smaller SUV’s struggled to get through the snow as it piled up, and some side streets were impassable.
Once the snow stopped falling, the digging out began.

“I think 20 years ago is when they had this much snow on the ground, so it’s going to be a massive undertaking to get this town cleaned up, said Dustin Hansen.

While it wasn’t the perfect storm, it certainly came close in a few ways. And as we all look forward to some melting, here’s a little dose of reality for all of us.

Mr. Scott Mundt, who is my expert in all things like this, has been picking up on a pattern, and it’s been putting out a system every two and a half weeks or so. At least, that’s kind of what we are looking at right now. So we’ve got a lot more snow. Remember, we haven’t gotten to spring yet, and that’s when we get our heaviest snowfall. We aren’t done by any stretch of the imagination,” said Trobec.