Thursday snow storm leaves messy commute, no school

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Rapid City, SD The Black Hills saw its first snow fall in nearly 2 weeks, Thursday.

The weather left a messy commute for some - it's why area schools closed for the day.

Aubria Hall said "Because It's kind of cold and snowy. I'm here so I can play with my new friends." Laurie Browning said "Like me!"

This duo is enjoying a day off from class, while the Black Hills shovels out from Thursday's snow.

Hall said "It's pretty cold!"

The YMCA of Rapid City kept the youth center open to keep kids safe this snow day.

Shawn Hayford, the outreach director for the YMCA of Rapid City, said "So that there's at least a place for the kiddos to go."

But not everyone got the day off.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol kept busy with an increase in car accidents along the Interstate and highways and in the local area.

Shann Barrick, a state trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, said "Just a lot of people not really paying attention. Not expecting the road conditions to be what they were."

The Black Hills saw a 180 degree turn in weather, with thermometers reaching about 70 degrees just a couple days ago.

But, Thursday's wet weather left for some icy conditions.

Black Hills FOX reporter Robert Grant said "Officials remind drivers - before you hit the road in weather like this, you're going to want to scrape those windows. Not only will it keep you safe, but it will keep other drivers on the road safe as well."

Barrick said "Every opportunity you have to increase your visibility around you to know where you're at and who's around you is your best opportunity to be safe."

Officials recommend leaving 2 seconds in between you and the car in front, but add more time with bad weather conditions.

Barrick said "The biggest thing is be safe. When you're traveling the roadways and you've got vehicles in front of you, you have to put that distance between you and the vehicle in front of you."

And if you do hit ice...

Barrick said "The brake is not your friend. Do not panic or hit the brake. That's going to cause you to lose control of the vehicle."

Let off the gas and counter steer to correct.

And while March and April can sometimes be the snowiest in the Hills - some are...

Hall said "Just ready for summer."

Rapid City got an average of 3 to 5 inches of snow, Thursday.

The good news, it will continue to taper off throughout the night.