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AUDIO: Winter storm bears down on Sioux Empire

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Freezing rain resulting in ice-covered trees and power lines - KELO file photo
Freezing rain resulting in ice-covered trees and power lines - KELO file photo
Todd Heitkamp of the Nationa... (Download MP3)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO-AM) - The Sioux Empire remains under a Winter Storm Warning through 7am Thursday morning.  Freezing rain hammered the area Tuesday morning, resulting in numerous reports of downed tree limbs and power outages.

Todd Heitkamp of the Sioux Falls National Weather Service says the rain will be changing to snow, but that may cause even more outages.  "This isn't a storm that will be over quickly," Heitkamp says. "We're receiving reports of anywhere from 15/100ths to 1/4 of an inch of ice accumulations on the trees and power lines... then we've got the snow coming in on top of that.  That will add to the weight that's already on these trees and power lines."

Heitkamp expects the immediate Sioux Falls area will see five to seven inches of snow through tomorrow.  However, areas to the north and west may see ten inches or more.

Heitkamp also shares advice for weathering the storm.  "If you don't have to travel, don't do it. If you are traveling, slow down and take your time," Heitkamp says. "Prepare for the possibility of power outages.  Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable food items that can be prepared without the use of electricity."

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