Not much snow after all, but oh, that wind.
Residents in the Black Hills escaped the brunt of the heavy snowfall that all but shut down the central and eastern parts of South Dakota on Monday, including the closure of Interstate 90 from Murdo to Sioux Falls.
But even minus the heavy snow, winds regularly exceeded 50 and 60 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph causing havoc in the area, especially for highway motorists.
One driver was uninjured when a wind gust sent a westbound semitrailer on its side at I-90 near Tilford at about 11:18 a.m. The overturned semi blocked one lane of traffic for about an hour before being moved to the side of the road so it wouldn't impede traffic, said South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Mangan.
“They won’t even try to pick it up until the wind goes down,” Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said.
Just to the west, four semi drivers parked their rigs on a westbound on-ramp at Exit 37, also waiting for the winds to subside.
Top wind gusts recorded as of 3 p.m. by the National Weather Service in Rapid City included 70 mph both near Scenic and northwest of Wasta.
A 67 mph gust rocked the Sturgis Municipal Airport, with a 63 mph blast clocked at Ellsworth Air Force Base and 61 mph recorded at the weather service office on East Signal Drive in Rapid City.
The high wind warning was to continue until late Monday, with winds gradually subsiding today.
Snow showers with the potential for whiteout conditions are also in the forecast, but with less than an inch of snow predicted.
Parts of the Dakotas were expected to get more than a foot of snow by the time the system moved east today, with Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa also getting significant amounts, according to the National Weather Service.
"We've been really telling people not to drive, not to travel," Mangan said.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard ordered state offices to close in 13 counties, though the Legislature was meeting as scheduled in Pierre. North Dakota's Human Services Department also shut down some outlying offices.
The storm system rolled in from the Pacific and is making its way to the East Coast. By Wednesday it could be causing more problems for the Northeast, which is cleaning up from a weekend nor'easter, said Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md.
The nor'easter knocked out power to more than 2 million homes and businesses, flooded coastal towns and forced a number of school districts to cancel classes. It was blamed for nine deaths from Virginia to Massachusetts.
Though it's too early to detail specific impacts of the storm that will move east out of the Midwest, "this looks to be a significant event for at least a portion of the Northeast," Pereira said. "A good swath of 6 to 12 inches of snow may fall across portions of the Northeast, and may include the Boston and New York areas."