RAPID CITY, S.D. — It wasn’t just a windy day in South Dakota on Thursday.
It was a different kind of wind. A cutting one.
Gusts reached about 81 mph. in some parts of the state bringing destruction, leaving businesses without signs and questions of unsafe travel across the western part of the state.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is urging the public and truck drivers to slow down and watch their surroundings as at least 10 semis have been blown over in the area.
“Slow down, be aware of wind gusts and their location as to the setting on if it’s a open, flat area if there’s some hills blocking some wind,” said Kimberly Norman of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Just be aware of their surroundings and if they are to travel to slow down and take their time.”
All while local truck drivers take every precaution to keep their big rigs upright.
“10-15 miles an hour…slower at times,” said Devin Nelson, a truck driver in Rapid City. “Especially with these high winds, you have no choice, you’re going slower.”
Reports of power outages increasing around the Black Hills as the wind rages on, producing about 100 calls to Black Hills Energy.
“We’ve had a number of small scattered outages across our service territory,” said Marc Eyre, the Vice President of Operations at Black Hills Energy. “We were watching the weather forecasts, saw this coming in and have crews on standby that worked through the night. We anticipated to continue to have some scattered outages throughout the day.”
Winds expected to continue through Friday, leaving questions around travel and public safety.