Two weeks in a row the area has come to a standstill, and first responders are still helping

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 1:48 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The South Dakota Department of Transportation announced that the interstate is closed from exit 67 at Box Elder to Chamberlain. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says the storm came fast and furious, leaving people stranded on the road between Wall and Rapid City.

One of the responding agencies helping people get to a warm place was Pennington County Sheriffs. In the middle of low to zero visibility and brutal temperatures, deputies were making sure cars were accounted for and people had a place to go. While the sheriff’s office says they have not heard of any injuries, one of their own was struck by Jack Frost.

“Yeah, it was a deputy with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, with frostbite on the right side of his head; from working the interstate last night,” said David Switzer, Lieutenant, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy was treated for frostbite Thursday morning.

However, the Rapid City Fire Department also has emergencies to tend to. Like two structure fires Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. During cold temperatures like the area is experiencing, making sure water doesn’t freeze and firefighters are safe is a battle of its own.

“Once you’re out in the weather and doing the job and we have things to take care of there’s no taking a break we get the job done. We can’t tell the person that needs our help, ‘wait a minute, we need to warm up before we come help you.’ We’re ready to do our job and we’ll deal with the cold and things afterward,” said Mark Raderschadt, Lieutenant, Rapid City Fire Department.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Rapid City Fire Department are asking people to stay inside and not to endure low visibility roads.