SOUTH YANKTON, SOUTH DAKOTA — As the sun rose Monday morning, residents in Knox, Cedar, Dixon, Wayne and Dakota Counties were braced for the worst. A winter storm warning had been issued and up to 8 inches of snow was possible, closer to the river than in the Norfolk area. By 10 AM, the South Yankton, Nebraska Shop E-Z Truck Stop looked like an oasis for truckers considering a trek south on Highway 81. The truck stop’s manager, Cathy Scott, has seen this before.
Cathy Scott, E-Z Truck Stop Manager: “It gets pretty bad out there in the open country. There’s plenty of drifting and some snow drifts and it pulls the semis to the side. When the wind picks up it gets pretty nasty.”
By noon, it was nasty. Less than a tenth of a mile of visibility, wet heavy flakes, truckers stopping to get a handle on the weather. For Scott, she’s seen this before.
Cathy Scott, E-Z Truck Stop Manager: “Was it last year? The roads were closed for two days and there were a lot of drivers that were here for two days. It was fun. We try to make them part of the family and make them as comfortable as they can be.”
As motorists sought a respite from the weather, a few customers shared updates and advice. Yankton business owner Aaron Scott said the storm had his attention.
Aaron Janda, Yankton Business Owner: “They’re getting a little slippery — that’s the bad part.”
But, magically, after the lunch hour, more and more pavement could be seen as the temperature rose and the flurries tapered off. By 2:00 p.m. no more trucks were stopping, drivers were maying hay while the sun shined.
Lt. Jim Bills, Nebraska State Patrol: “It’s going very well. It’s much better than expected. We had a few cars in the ditch. We did have a one-vehicle roll over. No injuries. All around it’s been a pretty easy day.”
Now, to be fair, that interview was shortly after 2:00 p.m. The roads held out, but, true to form by 5:00 p.m. this evening, the snow was falling again as Troopers in northeast Nebraska report portions of Highway 12, 100% snow covered. Be careful out there, things change quickly.