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The first blizzard of 2023 hits Mitchell, surrounding areas hard

As the huge storm front moved into the area on Monday night, it caused multiple interstate closures and no travel advisories across southeastern South Dakota the following day.

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A truck is stuck Tuesday afternoon on the intersection of Burr Street and East Third Avenue in Mitchell during the winter storm. A no travel advisory was issued for Mitchell on Tuesday.
Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Mitchell was hit with yet another brutal snow storm on Monday and Tuesday, bringing a chilly start to 2023.

The storm continued throughout the night and into much of Tuesday. Mitchell and its neighboring town's daily life came to a screeching halt as schools, businesses and two interstates shut down due to the inclement weather.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls recorded that the city of Mitchell received 5.8 inches of snow by 12:31 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, falling short of a 107-year-old daily record of 10 inches, which was reported in 1916.

With the snowfall from Tuesday, Mitchell was expected to easily surpass 12 inches of total snow in the storm, although that won't be made official until Wednesday.

However, conditions worsened throughout Tuesday morning, with increasing amounts of snow causing road closures and business shutdowns across the southeast region of the state. Snowplows were taken off the roads in Mitchell during the daytime hours Tuesday due to poor conditions.

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The surrounding areas of Mitchell recorded mixed amounts of snowfall, with the Ethan area reporting approximately 14.5 inches by 6:15 a.m. The Alexandria area reported approximately 20 inches by mid-morning on Tuesday, while the Bridgewater recorded 13 inches by 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 3. Further south, the Lake Andes area saw upwards of 25 inches, a high mark for the storm.

Both I-90 and I-29 have closed due to blizzard-like conditions and extensive drifting caused by Monday's storm system.

Schools across the region also shut their doors for a snow day, while emergency services urged motorists to stay off the roads by any means possible. The Mitchell School District also canceled classes for Wednesday.

With the 5.8 inches of snow on Monday, Mitchell has recorded 18.1 inches of snow for the season, well ahead of last year's pace, with Mitchell receiving 10.2 inches of snow at this point in the 2021-22 winter season.

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Cassie Williams joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2022. To get in contact with Cassie about potential stories, feel free to email her at cwilliams@mitchellrepublic.com.
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