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Mayor Issues State of Emergency in Sioux Falls

Downed Power Lines
Sioux Valley Energy

Mayor Mike Huether has issued a state of emergency in Sioux Falls. The designation allows the city to tap private contractors to assist in the clean-up of damage caused by the recent ice storm.

During a news conference Wednesday morning, Huether said it could take weeks for the city to recover from the storm, but that city crews are ready to get the job done. In addition, the city is prepared for the financial fall-out the clean-up will require.

Sioux Falls Fire Department Chief Jim Sideras said that they have responded to about 300 calls since Tuesday. Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said his department had responded to almost 1,000 calls.

Sideras and Barthel said both departments have been stretched by the storm and are trying to prioritize calls as best they can.

Citizens with an emergency should call 911. Citizens with urgent calls regarding state government offices may call 1-866-320-2740. For routine state business, citizens are asked to be patient and contact the appropriate office once the storm has passed and offices are re-opened.

There are currently about 28,000 people in the Sioux Falls area without power. According to authorities, it could take until Friday to get all power restored. Xcel Energy reports that four feeder lines are affected. To report power outages, contact Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999. Xcel Energy is bringing in additional crews to assist in the response.

Southeastern Electric Cooperative issued the following release:

Due to heavy ice loads and extensive tree damage throughout our 5,500 mile square service area we are experiencing outages for approximately 2,712 members out of our 15,500 due to over 100 poles down. Outages are occurring throughout our service area, but are east of a line from Menno/Freeman area northeast to the Canistota/Salem area and on east to the Iowa border. Crews are working to repair downed lines, broken poles and clearing trees from power lines. Additional crews have been requested to help in the power restoration process and are expected to be in the area around noon. The Southeastern Electric Cooperative crews are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. “General Manager Brad Schardin encourages the general public to stay away from downed power lines and call Southeastern Electric Cooperative at 1-800-333-2859 with any problems.”

Sioux Valley Energy released the following statement:

Sioux Valley Energy currently has approximately 3,000 members out of power.  There are several hundred poles down with entire sections of line in some areas. Conditions continue to deteriorate in the Southeast region of our territory. The heavy damage is primarily south of Dell Rapids to the north end of Sioux Falls and extends out east beyond Luverne, MN. It continues to rain and freeze as we work to put up line. Sioux Valley Energy is bringing in additional lineworkers from other electric co-ops and as well as extra equipment.

In the case of downed power lines or power outages, the city recommends citizens call their service provider and not the police department. Numbers to call include Excel Energy at 1-800-895-1999 or Southeastern at 333-2859. In case of downed street lights, citizens can call 605-373-6979.

Free fallen branch drop-off will be available at the City Street Department (1000 East Chambers Street) and the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds (North Lyons Boulevard) to assist with branch cleanup due to the ice storm. You can also find more locations here.

The city also recommends the following:

  • Citizens should shelter-in-place in the event of power loss.
  • Anticipate and prepare for additional power outages.
  • Be aware and stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Give Xcel Energy time to restore power.
  • Travel only if necessary within the city.
  • Check road conditions before traveling and exercise caution throughout this weather-related event. Updated statewide road conditions are available through safetravelusa.com or by calling 5-1-1.
  • Do not park under mature trees.
  • Be safe and allow natural melting to occur before working under and around mature trees.
  • During business hours, city residents can drop off fallen tree branches at either the Sioux Falls Street Department or the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds locations.

 

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