Remember when Icepocalypse hit Sioux Falls? If you lived here you probably do it was nuts.

The storm that brought tons of freezing rain There was an inch of ice on everything, and that meant trees buckled under the weight of hundreds of pounds of ice.

Sioux Falls got 9 inches of snow and sleet from the storm that took place from April 9 - 11, 2013. That didn't include the ice accumulating on everything during the first part of the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

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The storm caused millions of dollars worth of damage, downed trees were everywhere, and the city of Sioux Falls called the clean up of the trees "Operation Timber Strike!" Yes, it had an exclamation point.

Trees were scary as hell during this time. Part of the reason we bought our home in the neighborhood we did was because of the very tall, mature trees. Those trees became dangerous after all the ice accumulated.

On the morning when things got crazy, April 10, I went home after for lunch to check on our house. I was worried about the gigantic maple tree in our neighbor's yard that could easily have dropped a large branch onto our house.

When I got close to my house, I couldn't get through the route I took because a very large branch had broken off and blocked the entire street. An elderly woman, full spunk and civic duty, was trying to drag the branch off the road. I stopped my truck and got out to help her, and myself. As I walked over I heard the loudest crack of wood breaking I had ever heard in my life. It scared the hell out of me.

"Just go inside, I'll get this," I said to her.

"I'm sorry I'm just not strong enough anymore," she said with obvious irritation. She made me chuckle at that.

I drug the branch as far as I could to just let traffic get through and went the last of the two blocks home.


I couldn't get in the garage because the power was out. Had to enter through the front door with my key. All was well at our house, just a few small branches down. When I left to go back to work I went back the way I had come and a large branch of an oak tree and crushed a compact car in a driveway not 20 yards from the branch I drug out of the street.

It was scary.

James J Hill House


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