State activates emergency operations center for spring storm response
April 10. 2013 11:13AM
State officials have opened the state Emergency Operations Center due to the major spring storm carrying strong winds, heavy snow and freezing rain across much of South Dakota.
Lt. Governor Matt Michels, acting on behalf of Governor Daugaard, ordered a Level Three activation, which means a limited number of staff members from key state response agencies will monitor conditions and coordinate appropriate levels of response together. Agencies immediately involved include the Office of Emergency Management, South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation.
The EOC staff will coordinate responses with other state, local, tribal and private agencies and organizations and can immediately seek additional personnel and resources as needed.
“Activation of the Emergency Operations Center assures a coordinated, immediate response to any storm-related issues,’’ Michels said. “It should also be a sign to our citizens that this is a serious spring storm and must not be taken lightly.’’
The storm began late Monday, but as the National Weather Service forecast, the first wave passed through by early Tuesday. A second, stronger and more wide-reaching wave of snow, wind and freezing rain was expected to enter the state about 6 p.m. on Tuesday and move slowly from south to north. The storm was expected to continue to impact parts of the state into Thursday.
The snow and wind carried on the second wave of the storm are expected to make travel difficult to nearly impossible at times through Wednesday and into Thursday. Citizens are cautioned to expect the closure of some portions of the interstate highway system. Electrical power outages are also possible.
People who must travel are encouraged to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 511 to check latest road conditions and travel advisories.