PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has declared a state of emergency for all of South Dakota following a Christmas Day storm that resulted in stranded motorists and electrical power outages. The Governor, in issuing the Executive Order, has ordered that state government technical resources be made available to support county governments in efforts to restore normal travel conditions and emergency services. Those technical resources will be coordinated by the state Department of Public Safety’s Office of Emergency Management. “Every part of South Dakota was impacted in some way by this holiday storm,” said Gov. Daugaard. “If it was not heavy snow, it was freezing rain and high winds. Many South Dakotans and visitors had to change their Christmas plans because of the storm’s impact.” Blizzard conditions forced the closure of Interstate 90 from the Wyoming border to Chamberlain from Sunday night through Monday morning. Electrical power outages were reported in many parts of the state. Office of Emergency Management staff already have been contacting counties about the type of resources needed and damages sustained. Brenda Kleinjan is the Director of Communications for the South Dakota Rural Electric Association
Note: Here is a copy of the executive order as issued by Gov. Daugaard:
WHEREAS, the entire State of South Dakota has been impacted by a Christmas Day severe winter storm which brought freezing drizzle and rain, snow, and high winds leading to blizzard conditions in areas where snow fell; and, WHEREAS, The storm caused widespread hazardous travel conditions and road closures due to zero visibility; and, WHEREAS, The blizzard conditions interrupted the normal flow of emergency, school, mail, business and farm traffic; and, WHEREAS, Icing on power lines combined with strong winds caused thousands to be without power from the storm; and, WHEREAS, Emergency shelters were needed to house stranded motorists caused by road closures and blizzard conditions as well citizens without power; and, NOW, THEREFORE, I, DENNIS DAUGAARD, Governor of the State of South Dakota, under provisions of SDCL 34-48A, otherwise known as the Emergency Management law, do hereby declare a state of emergency to exist in South Dakota.
IT IS FURTHER DECLARED, that technical resources available to state government will be utilized under coordination of the Department of Public Safety, Office of Emergency Management, in support of county government to restore normal travel conditions and emergency services.