South Dakota digs out after record-setting October blizzard


Temperatures in western South Dakota are expected to nudge into the 50's on Sunday, turning a record breaking October blizzard into slush.

The Rapid City Journal quotes the National Weather Service, which put the weekend snowfall at 21.5 inches. That makes it the highest single-day snowfall for October since record keeping began around the 1890s. WDAY reported a town in southwest North Dakota also accumulated a record setter. According to the National Weather Service, Hettinger received 18 inches, a record for a 24-hour period in October.

In the western part of South Dakota, trees were torn apart, debris littered roadways and plows were unable to keep up with the accumulation. The Associated Press reports the area is still dealing with power outages and digging out from chest-high drifts. In Rapid City, snowmobilers were recruited Sunday to help law enforcement officers rescue about 80 motorists still stuck in their vehicles.

KELO TV in Sioux Falls said the Red Cross Black Hills Chapter set up a shelter for those motorists and displaced individuals at a high school. Gov. Dennis Daugaard declared a state of emergency and the National Guard helped clear roads.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said Saturday that authorities responded to more than 700 calls Friday night.

"We had a lady go into labor at the Days Inn Motel on Jackson Boulevard and we had to get a snowcat to her to get her to to the hospital," he said.

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