County crews help stuck cars in the Southern Hills

Plow driver clearing a parking lot in Hill City on May 22, 2019. (KOTA TV)
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HILL CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Snow and rain left thousands without power, and many drivers who braved the snow-covered streets ended up stuck in ditches around the Black Hills.

Most highways around the Black Hills are now clear of snow, but city and county crews still have a lot of work ahead of them.

Tony Harrison, Pennington County Sheriff's Office, says, "We had trees that had been down from the heavy weight of the snow so then trees were literally falling across the road. The county had to have folks come in with chainsaws, cut the trees, and get them out of the way so that the snow plows could get through."

Driving along Highway 16 on Wednesday, at least three cars were stuck in the median.

The Sheriff's Office pulled dozens of vehicles out of ditches over the last 24 hours.

And Captain Tony Harrison says they put out "No Travel Advisories" not only for people's safety but so plow drivers can do their job.

Captain Tony Harrison says, "Like what just happened with Sheridan Lake Road, we had two or three vehicles stuck. We had to clear the vehicles and then the plow could come through. And so that slows down the entire process when we have cars that are stuck."

This stretch of Sheridan Lake Road was not plowed yet as of late Wednesday morning, several business owners were still clearing their parking lots, and Hill City had already received 17 inches of snow.

Tony Harrison says, "What's sad is that on June 20th, it's the longest day of the year. So we're less than a month away from the longest day of the year and we still have snow on the ground so that's discouraging. But you know what? It is what it is. You look at the hills, and they're gorgeous in the snow time. You just have to be positive and press on."