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Snowed in…finally

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 11th, 2012


Semi-trucks are lined up at Crossroads of exit 109 in Colman thanks to snowy conditions that caused I-29 to be closed over night.




Moody County residents got their first taste of winter weather this weekend when officially 9.5 inches of snow fell over the area in just three days.

While the snow may be an inconvience to some, it should be a welcome sight to all. The weather patterns that have brought the county, the state and much of the United States drought conditions, appear to be making some shifts which should give us reason for optimism that more precipitation may follow.

The nine plus inches is already more than half of the total snow fall the county received during the winter of 2011-12. Last season’s winter snowfall totaled 17.8 inches of snow during the months of November 2011 through March 2012.

This weekend’s weather began with light snow starting on Friday afternoon and continuing into early evening.

A stronger system with accumulating snow began late Saturday afternoon and continued through the night and into Sunday morning. This snow was then blown around by sustained north-northeast winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour. Gusts of 45 mph were recorded on Sunday. The winds prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Blizzard Warning which included the Moody County communities.

Plows were out trying to clean up the white mess but the intense snowfall was just too much Sunday night, causing the plows to be reigned in for the night.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation had a lot of work to do over the weekend with road closures throughout the state. SD Highways 32 and 34 that run through Moody County were both tagged with the “No Travel Advised” label from early Sunday night to mid-morning on Monday. Interstate travel was disrupted as I-29 from Sioux Falls to Sisseton and I-90 Sioux Falls to Chamberlain were both closed at 1 p.m on Sunday.

The closure caused many truck drivers and travelers to call it quits for the night. Over 25 semi-trucks were parked overnight at either the Crossroads or Prairie Junction parking lots off I-29’s Exit 109 near Colman – most of them far from their final destinations. There were several trucks from Canada, along with a few from Oklahoma and several other states up and down the I-29 roadway.

But the two gas stops weren’t the only ones with new overnight residents. The Royal River Casino Hotel had some unexpected guests over the weekend as well. The only hotel in the county had 16 people stay Saturday who planned to leave Sunday but decided not to travel in the poor conditions. A handful of other guests left the casino Sunday but quickly turned around and checked back in after realizing they could not get anywhere.

The inclement weather also forced both Moody County schools to close on Monday because of unsafe driving conditions for the bus drivers, faculty, students and parents.

Despite the bad weather conditions and numerous counts of cars being stuck in the ditch, the Moody County Ambulance service was only called out to one injury related accident during the weekend.

The remaining week looks snow free but there is a possibility of another “snow event.”





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