Mitchell nears record for snowfall

Mitchell is inching closer to setting an all-time record for snowfall during the month of April and is running 20-30 degrees below average April temperatures.

Mitchell is inching closer to setting an all-time record for snowfall during the month of April and is running 20-30 degrees below average April temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service, 5.1 inches of snow fell Monday, bringing the city's monthly total to 19.2 inches, 1.1 inches shy of the record of 20.3 inches that fell in 2008.

Mitchell is not likely to get any more snow, according to Philip Schumacher, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sioux Falls.

"The snow is probably done," Schumacher said. "There could be snow and sleet mixed with the rain Wednesday, but it doesn't look like it will accumulate at this point."

With Monday's storm, this year's April snowfall total has surpassed the city's second-highest April total of 17 inches, which fell in 1995.


Sioux Falls and Huron have also received heavy snowfall in April, but neither has reached record numbers, accord- ing to the National Weather Service.

The wintry weather is expected to relent this weekend. The NWS in Sioux Falls predicts the highs going into the weekend will be in the 60s, which is average for Mitchell in April. Recently, the highs in Mitchell have been in the 30s and 40s.

Forecasts show that temperatures will jump into the 50s Thursday and the 60s on Friday and over the weekend. With the temperatures rising, meteorologists say the James River could reach its flood stage during the next two to three months.

"With the snow, not what's falling here but north of Mitchell, that has led to increased risk for flooding," Schumacher said. "We're just waiting for it to melt up north."

He said there is a 70 percent chance of the James River reaching flood stage, which near Mitchell is 17 feet and is considered minor flooding. The river near Mitchell was at 13.21 feet Monday afternoon. There is a 30 percent chance of moderate flooding, which is 20 feet.

Meanwhile, Monday's weather was causing some problems in the Mitchell area.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol reported a semi jackknifed near Plankinton on Interstate 90. A Freightliner semi driven by Omar San Miguel, 49, of Indiana, was traveling west on I-90 when it hit a patch of slush and ice.

"He lost control, jackknifed and entered the median," said Trooper Grant Lubbers. "The semi remained upright."


San Miguel was cited for overdriving the road conditions.

Lubbers said other vehicles were in the ditch up and down the interstate.

"Most of them were going too fast, hitting slush and getting pulled into the ditch," he said.

Sheriff's offices across The Daily Republic's print circulation area reported numerous vehicles in ditches because of slushy, slippery conditions.

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