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Winter storm brings heavy snow to area

A winter storm swept through the area last week, bringing with it heavy snow. The snowfall was significant, with reported totals ranging from 13 to nearly 17 inches in the area, leading to the closure of the Lennox School District last Wednesday, Jan. 4 and a late start on Thursday, Jan. 5.

With the poor road conditions, the City of Lennox and the Lincoln County Courthouse closed on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and closed for part of Jan. 4. No travel was advised in the County on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Parts of the interstate, both I-29 and I-90, had to be closed in the early part of the week last week also due to the hazardous conditions, causing disruptions for commuters and travelers. In portions of south central South Dakota, the National Weather Services reported snowfall up 27 inches. The interstate was not able to open until late Wednesday afternoon and drivers were cautioned that many areas remained ice-covered and had snow-covered shoulders.

The winds caused drifting which also caused travel problems. Many side streets and residential areas were also impassable, making it difficult for residents to even move around their own community.

Despite the challenges posed by the storm, city crews are working tirelessly to clear the streets and roadways. Even Mayor Stacy DuChene and several council members were on hand to help clear the business district sidewalks.

The City did make it clear that they are the point in the year where snow can no longer make it over the banks by curbs without operating plows at unsafe speeds (and without filling in already cleared driveways and sidewalks).

They stated they will try to get closer to curbs if time allows, but be prepared for narrower streets from this point forward until the spring thaw.

Residents are also reminded to clear a path to their mailbox to help aid the Post Service. And make sure your fire hydrants are clear of snow. Fire emergencies can happen in any weather, and it is important that firefighters be able to quickly hook up to nearby hydrants. Fire hydrants should be cleared at least three feet on all sides. Lennox Volunteer Firefighters, during their Tuesday night training, were to go around town and work to help clear fire hydrants.

Intersections with sidewalks need to also remain clear for safety reasons.

With more winter weather likely on the way, residents are encouraged to stay informed and take necessary precautions to stay safe.

The hard work and dedication of the city’s crews will no doubt continue to be a crucial part of keeping the community moving during these difficult weather conditions.


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