SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– The plows are out in the City of Sioux Falls working to keep emergency snow routes open. A snow alert was issued shortly after noon. The city plow drivers are back to 12 hour shifts with the plows and graders working around the clock.

They will stay on the emergency snow routes until the snow stops and they are cleared.

Then they will move into residential areas. The best case scenario would be tomorrow afternoon.

This storm is a challenge for 3 main reasons, the amount of snow, the high winds and drifting and the duration.

“We’re talking almost 3 days, and so the duration is probably 7, 8 by the time the whole city is cleaned up,” said street operations manager Dustin Hansen.

Drivers should be aware that drifting is causing problems, especially on the emergency snow routes on the outskirts of the city.

“As soon as they plow it, it’s coming right back in 35 to 40 minutes and their typical turn round time is and hour and a half. So by the time they get back, it’s already drifted in and traffic is stuck,” said Hansen.

When snow falls at more than an inch an hour that’s when plows have trouble keeping the emergency routes open.

As the day goes on Sioux Falls Police report more people are getting stuck in drifts and they say the best advice is to stay home.

“I would really encourage the motoring public unless you have a legitimate need to be out traveling to stay home and bunker there if you can it’s not worth the risk,” said Lt Andrew Siebenborn.

It could be six to seven days to clean up the whole city.

“This is going to be a long one, a marathon one, so just be patient,” said Hansen.

If you would like to keep track of the plowing process in the city you can check out the city’s new snow tracker app.